3D Printing - "It's all about design and quality output. Not how fast the printer can run."
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.