I have now added this PEI (polyetherimide) bed surface material to both my Delta and Cartesian 3D printers. In both cases the PEI is held down with the available 3M 468MP adhesive sheet.
The Delta has the PEI applied to a round glass plate and here on the Cartesian printer, I stuck it directly to the heated aluminum bed plate.
In the pictures, some thin bubbles in the adhesive can be seen. So far, they have caused no issues what-so-ever and are not a concern. They are extremely thin and I think, unavoidable.
My first printed items are the yellow PLA (Solutech brand) shown. I printed a 3D box and lid together using my “blue tape” temperature settings. The PLA was stuck so firm to the bed, it could not be budged. It seemed permanent.
I heated the bed to 110 degrees and was eventually able to peel off the two parts, with damage to the parts but none to the PEI material. The small box and the fish shown were then printed with NO bed heating and the lowest recommended setting (190C) for the Solutech PLA. I also adjusted the default bed height to a generous (loose) paper thickness default height.
These two prints adhered well and were considerably easier to remove with “normal” effort. The glass like bottom finish on the items are always amazing after printing so long on blue tape.
There are protective plastic films on BOTH sides of the PEI sheet. When both are removed, the PEI is glass clear and a hard surface, no color at all. On the Delta I didn’t realize the film was on BOTH sides. I soon figured it out. Gizmo Dorks now makes it explicitly clear to remove the film on BOTH sides. Anyone reporting problems with this material, especially with low parts adhesion, has probably made this error.
The aluminum bed and clear PEI make it a bit hard to see the surface since there is no color or printing underneath. That is not a real issue for me. Perhaps some auto level systems using light beams or RADAR (just kidding) may have a problem adjusting. I have no experience with that…
Having previously used the PEI material on my Delta, I was anxious to apply it to this printer bed as well. The ease of printing and excellent smooth surface on parts makes it a very good addition on both my printers. I had some initial concern with direct adhesion to the aluminum bed. I decided to go for it.
A PEI printing surface is recommended by RD3DPDS.
The fun part of inventing is creating exactly what is desired for a particular application. Inventing is discovering a need and finding a way to fulfill that need. I recently did that sitting here at my computer.
I often pull out the drawer in front of the screen to prop the keyboard at an angle and at a lower position than setting flat on top of the desk surface. It works well in that position and I decided I needed a more reliable system.
I have been wanting to do this since I purchased and assembled this 3D printer. The “standard” method is to use a spool holder that sets next to the printer. It takes up a lot of room and the filament is constantly being pushed back and forth by the “Y” travel of the print head. It works but I never liked that much flexing of the filament.
Kossel Heated Bed
One of my printers is an Anycubic Kossel A6 Delta. It is definitely a D-I-Y (do it yourself) project and a great value for the price. It is available only in kit form. Performance has been very good once I got every detail sorted. It produces very good prints and is fast.
One desirable feature it lacks is a heated bed. The controller (Arduino) has the necessary connections for controlling the heated bed. I ordered the hot plate when I purchased the printer kit. The delivery of the plate is another whole story of its own. I ended up with two of them, paying for one. I will send one back if manufacturer will pay or the shipping. I doubt they will see the value in that…
One of my most rewarding activities is designing jewelry and then creating the design using the process of Lost Wax Casting (LWC). This requires embedding the carved wax design in a plaster like material called “investment” within a metal cylinder called a “flask’.
This flask with the investment (which hardens on its own in about 15 minutes) and embedded wax master are fired in a kiln to 1350 degrees over a 12 hour period.