Print Removal Tips and Tools
I do nor usually need a tool but with ABS and PETG, I often need a little help to remove supports and the outline. I currently use plastic scraper tools. What do you use?
I have a very thin cakespatula made of some semiregid plastic.
I also use a very sharp metalshovel.
There is an ultrabase-style on the delta and a regular windowglass on my tevo.
I use a plastic scraper to iron the surface after removing the print - rub the outline from the print that shows on the print surface - this helps re-stick the coating to the glue that holds it to the metal plate. I'm pretty sure the outline is the slight separation of the (PEI) from it's glue, and with no crack in the coating for air to get in, all you see is that ghostly outline. Since this ironing seems to make the outline disappear, I'm assuming I'm helping re-glue the coating to the bed after every print.
For those pesky little lines that JUST WON'T BUDGE - I use a flat single sided razor in a holder/handle - and very carefully go at the edge of the remaining print leftovers. I always look to see if the print surface has bulged from all of the pulling to get the stuck part off - if it has at all, no razor - but instead PUSH down on the part to eliminate the bulge first. Then I go back at it with the razor. To be successful with the razor - because of high risk of scratching the surface or cutting into the surface where there is a bulge - I always inspect the razor edge to make sure it is absolutely flat. Any nicks or bends and it means time for a new razor.
Have I scratched PEI steel sheet? Yes I have. But that was before I learned about windex for PETG.
Okay, it’s heresy—and I will probably be publicly flogged for saying it—but I use a metal spatula. I found the plastic ones to be nice toys but not super useful, or for stuff that really sticks I needed so much force that I was afraid I’d scratch the surface anyway. Haven’t destroyed any sheets yet with my metal spatula. Of course, you’ve got to be careful.
I learned the hard way when I was climbing the learning curve on the Prusa flex sheet. I had an ABS print that did not want to budge, so I got impatient and used a small spatula from the kitchen to (attempt to) pry it off. It came off, but with it a few pieces of the coating of the sheet, thus ruining one side. 🙁 I was used to the glass plates at the 'makerspace' and there it was common to use metal implements to pry off finished prints.
I now always use a release agent with ABS. Usually Layerneer, but sometimes glue stick.
One trick with ABS is to be sure to let it cool to almost room temperature. ABS will shrink slightly and all it will take is a flex of the sheet 99% of the time. For that other 1%, put the sheet and the print in the refrigerator and let them sit maybe 10 minutes. Usually the print will then drop right off. Worst case, try the freezer. 😉
In another thread today I mentioned two plastic implements that I use to remove things from the plate. The larger plastic scraper I use mostly to remove things like the remains of support footings and brims/skirts that do not want to release. When it gets dull, I just reprint it.
I just scored a free kilo of ABS - and the only thing I know is glue stick
I was thinking of trying the refrigerator/freezer - the slight shrinkage differences between the steel and the ABS should be a good coaxer. Layerneer, huh?
I have not had to use the freezer (yet?) but occasionally (rarely) I'll put the plate and print into the refrigerator if it looks like it's going to require more force than I'm comfortable using to break free. After 10-15 minutes it almost falls right off.
Layerneer Bed Weld is what I've been using for a release agent for ABS and PETg (and PC Blend, but I do not do many of those) and as an adhesion booster at times for PLA. It's available from Amazon here in the States. It goes on much thinner than glue stick and a little goes a long way. I'm still on my first bottle and I have a full one as well. One one of the other boards there was some speculation that it's repackaged hairspray but I'm not certain of that. Some use another product called MagiGoo as well, but I have not tried that one.
Bed Weld is good stuff. It will not solve the aging plate increase adhesion, but will help prevent damage from PETG by providing adhesion and a release agent.
I like Layerneer. Works great. Not a fan of Magigoo, I found it to come out of the bottle in a very uneven manner.