After two weeks of almost constant printing, the buildtak bed of my printer was a hot mess. Prints required near Hulk-like levels of strength to pry off, there were gouges that would eventually impact print quality if left untreated, there were little bits of PLA just embedded in the thing, it looked simply awful. I decided that the time had come to install a glass bed. I could have used binder clips to hold the glass on, but while functional, it looks tacky.
- Wanhao Duplicator i3 v2 (also branded as the Monoprice Maker Select Plus)
- Hex wrenches (the ones that come with the Maker Select)
- Small wrench
- PLA filament
- (8) M3 nuts
- (8) M3 bolts (between 30-40 mm in length)
- Borosilicate glass plate
Approximate time to completion:
- 8 hrs to print
- 1 hr to install
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Step 1: Step 1: Print the Glass Holders
I printed on a raft, with 25% infill at 0.06 mm resolution. Granted, lower print quality will print faster, with little to no reduction in functionality, so feel free to tinker with the settings. Personally, I printed them over night, so six hours versus eight hours didn't really matter, but hey, you do you.
Once the holders are printed, slide one nut into each of the side slots, and thread a bolt onto each. At this time, the tip of the bolt should just barely protrude through the side.
Step 2: Step 2: Remove the Level Nuts, Sprints, Small Nuts and Washers
The level nuts spin right off, so no challenge there. When you lift the bed keep in mind:
- Don't lose the springs
- Don't pull too hard, there's wiring on the underside of the bed.
With the springs and level nuts out of the way, remove the lock nuts and washers, using a hex wrench and small metric wrench. While re-using lock nuts is generally considered bad form, you can probably get away with it here.
Step 3: Step 3: Install the Holders and Put the Bed Back Together
Slide the glass holders onto the bolts. If the holes are too small (an occupational hazard with 3D printers) a small, sharp knife can be used to ream out the holes. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, lest you crack the holder.
Once the holder is in place, spin out the bolts to help keep the holder in place, and then replace the washers and lock nuts.
That done, replace the sprints and level nuts. At this time, you may as well tighten the level nuts all the way down.
Step 4: Step 4: Install the Glass
Center the glass on the buildplate, and tighten the bolts until each is contacting the glass.
Take care not to over tighten. The borosilicate plate has slightly rounded edges, and will drive the bolts over/under the plate. Other types of glass could conceivably crack or shatter.
Step 5: Final Steps: Miscellaneous
- You've added height to the print bed, you'll probably want to move the z-limit switch. It's held in place by two bolts in slots on the left side of the printer (as you're looking at the front). Move it up a couple of slots.
- That done, re-level the bed and set the nozzle height as the instruction manual recommends.
- In theory, PLA doesn't require hairspray, but a 2-3 second blast before printing seems to help, and prints still lift off with ease after.
- ABS would be better, as PLA will likely warp over time.