Making 3D Printing Easier With Tape

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About: I like squirrels!

Have you ever spent hours printing something on your 3d printer, only to be unable to non-destructively remove it from the build plate? I know I have. Luckily, you only need a bit of tape to solve this issue!

Step 1: The Problem

In order to ensure that the filament adheres to the print bed, most 3D printers use a heating element to control the cooling of the filament. Unfortunately, while print bed adhesion is essential during printing, it can become a nightmare after printing.

Some users suggest:

  1. Getting a printer with a removable, flexible build plate
  2. Hoping that letting the printed object cool will reduce the adhesion
  3. Applying force to remove the print

These options have significant drawbacks because they:

  1. Waste your money
  2. Waste your time and don't always work
  3. Damage your print

Step 2: The Solution

Luckily, there is a cheap and easy solution. By simply applying a layer of tape to the print bed...

You can ensure two things:

  1. The print will be easier to remove because filaments do not stick to the tape as much as the print bed
  2. In the worst case, you can simply peel off the tape to remove the print

Step 3: Getting the Proper Tape

While any form of tape will suffice...

There are certain considerations you should make before purchasing new tape:

  1. A single, wide strip of tape is better than many strips of narrow tape
  2. Masking tape works the best in my experience, whereas duct tape and clear tape can be unnecessarily sticky
  3. There is tape specifically designed for 3D printing, see the links below
  4. You can cut a large piece of tape into smaller pieces for small prints


Links to buy tape (not affiliate links):

Step 4: One Last Tip

If you see wrinkles forming in the tape when the printer is not on, don't worry. The next time that you preheat the printer, the wrinkles should disappear.

Good luck, and happy 3D printing!

Tape Contest

This is an entry in the
Tape Contest

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    2 Discussions

    1
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    audreyobscura

    5 days ago

    I was using tape on my printer's heated bed, and I found it always peeled up and would distort my prints. Now, I put down a thin layer of glue with a kid's glue stick, and once my print is done flood the bed with a tablespoon or so of alcohol and wait for a few minutes - it works surprisingly well! Thanks for sharing your tips, I'll have to do some more research around tapes on the bed!

    1 reply
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    finnbearaudreyobscura

    Reply 5 days ago

    Thanks for your comment about using glue. My concern is that to "flood" the bed with liquids might allow those liquids to get into my printer. I did have an issue where bubbles would be created during the printing process, causing the bottom of my prints to be warped. I'm not 100% sure, but applying more tension to the tape seemed like the solution. To accomplish this, I used a bigger piece of tape that I stretched to stick to the area around my printer's print bed. After all, this is for the tape contest. However, this option is not available for printers with a print bed that moves.