Introduction: 3D Printer - PLA Sticking Issues Resolved!

I have finally received my Buccaneer Pirate 3D printer and just started playing around with it. Got off a shaky start of broken filaments and poor adhesion of the layers, but all is resolved through the easy to understand re-calibration instructions and various youtube videos from the homepage.

One other problem remains though, and that is the difficulty of removing the final product from the print bed! Sounds like a good problem to have as it usually means the model came out well, but after a few times of brute-force prying the printed model and scraping the remaining debris off the sticky print bed, it is soon apparent that this is not the way to go for long as the adhesive print bed is taking too much damage.

Surfed around the net a bit, realised that for PLA filaments, two cheap solutions exists, and this instructable is to share with you the stuffs i learnt and discovered along the way and also the experience of using the two methods:

1) Using glue stick

2) Using blue painter's tape

Step 1: Model to Be Printed

The model to be printed is created in Solidworks as a *.prt file and then subsequently converted to a *.stl file. Holes are added in to the model to reduce material usage as four pieces with different settings will be printed as comparison.

Step 2: Using Glue Stick

Glue Stick is evenly applied on the print bed to make up for the deteriorated original sticky surface. Hopefully it serves as both a adhesive and lubricant so that model will be easier to pry off once completed.

Step 3: Print Progress

Each layer slowly builds up, the supports of the two flanges are automatically generated by the Bucanneer software.

Step 4: Completed Print With Glue Stick Applied

After print is finished, it is realised that the glue stick applied is already all dried up. The printed model is just as difficult to pry off the print bed as before!

Step 5: Using Tape

I dont have the blue painter's tape, so i used the broadest masking tape i can get hold off as they probably cant be that much of a difference. The masking tape hence forms the the base layer on which the model will be printed on.

Step 6: Printing on Masking Tape

Printing at 340 microns with raft adhesion setting for the first layer. It is observed that the PLA sticks perfectly onto the masking tape, no curling or any signs of potential print failure, really surprising!

Step 7: Completed Print on Masking Tape

Upon completion of printing, the masking tape is slowly peeled off from the original print bed adhesive surface. Some strength is still required, but the process is alot easier compared to the prying off the model direct off it. Finally, tape is peeled off from the base of the model, and the end result is amazingly great. You can see the raft layer is printed perfectly!

Step 8: Final Product

So what is it that i am printing for?

Well i had a spare piece of wooden board lying around the house i bought from IKEA but turns out to be of the wrong dimension. I didnt want to damage it by drilling any holes or damage its surface by any modifications and i also had a few Absolut Vodka bottles lying around the house. The next thing i can think of is to use the bottles and wood to make a little shelve, with 3D-printed adaptors as connecting pieces!

Hope you guys had as much fun reading as i had experimenting with my Buccaneer.

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