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Kapton on glass: The ideal printbed with easy swapping?

Note: This article is about modifying the flashforge creator pro, This can be applied to a host of other 3d printers with similar constructions. 

If you use a buildtak-like surface or something similar like the one that comes with the printer, sometimes 3d prints stick too well to the print bed surface and you gouge out part of the printbed cover trying to remove it. And then have to stick another €10 or more bed surface to the printbed with all the removal problems to get rid of the glue first.

Especially with PET-G I have noticed a very good stick to the bed. Too good of a stick. Which resulted in a gouge in print bed cover and a sharp implement stuck in my finger. Auch!

You can use kapton tape on your bed. Which will prevent things sticking too much and ripping out your build bed cover. But removing your bed from the printer to apply the kapton tape is not an option my printer, and applying it inside the printer is very very annoying. Doable but annoying. Only for air bubbles to be trapped below the tape in the imperfections of the bed cover that ruin the shiny flat surface on the bottom of the print.

Solution: Glass bed and kapton tape.

But you can have your cake and eat it too. If you buy 2 or more pieces of borosilicate glass that fit your print bed and roll of kapton tape that fits your bed, you can apply kapton tape to the pieces of glass and easily swap out the glass bed between prints. And you can get the kapton tape applied so tightly that bubbles are no longer an issue. You have a flat surface to print on where the print will stick enough but not too much. And if it does rip, just swap out the plate with your spare and continue your next print. And reapply the tape on the old glass slide.

What you will need for this :
– 2 or more flat pieces of 3mm borosilicate glass that fit your 3d printer bed which you can get on E-bay
– A roll of kapton that fits your pieces of glass
– A thin roll of kapton tape
– A couple of document/paper clamps
– Dishwashing soap (an important piece of this project)
– A oven dish with high walls
– Water
– A 3d printed shim [link to original] [ link to modified for the 2015 model] for the Flashforge Creator Pro to raise the sensed bed height by 3mm
– Optional: An oven that can do lower temperatures like 50C or 122F

Go check out this video to see how to do it.

And now you can produce prints that stick well to the bed and after the print is done you can easily remove the glass from the bed and replace it when the print is done to continue printing.

Author: John Bakker

Developer by trade , artist by night.

John Bakker

Developer by trade , artist by night.

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