Which are the best build surfaces for PETG?
 

Which are the best build surfaces for PETG?  

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dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member

Here's what I have tried so far, and what I thought of them:

1.  The new Prusa textured PEI build plate.  Excellent!  Works just as advertised: sticks when heated and releases (often automatically) when cooled afterward.

2.  The original Prusa smooth PEI build plate.  Not so good.  PETG sticks too well to it unless a release agent is first applied.  It's difficult to always apply just the right amount of release agent (neither too much nor too little), and some release agents have to be cleaned off the printed parts afterward, which is extra work I'd rather not have.

3.  BuildTak.  Even worse than the smooth PEI build plate.  Without a pre-applied release agent, PETG practically welds itself to the build surface.

4.  GeckoTek.  So far, so good.  Seems to work as advertised.  Similar useage to the Prusa textured build plate described above.

 

Anything else that's especially good? 

Posted : 13/01/2021 3:19 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Reputable Member

I've become a big fan of the BCZAMD steel sheet. Using it on both MK3S and Mini. I've been printing on it for months now, holding up very well. The pattern is coarser than the Prusa sheet but I've come to really like it.

Posted : 13/01/2021 3:49 pm
dimprov liked
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member
Posted by: @fuchsr

I've become a big fan of the BCZAMD steel sheet. Using it on both MK3S and Mini. I've been printing on it for months now, holding up very well. The pattern is coarser than the Prusa sheet but I've come to really like it.

Great!  Thanks to your recommendation, I just now placed an order for one.

 

Anyone else have any favorites?

Posted : 13/01/2021 6:33 pm
egar
 egar
(@egar)
Trusted Member

@dimprov

I see in your comments that you are not a fan of the Prusa smooth PEI sheets, but I have no issues with them.  If avoiding the use of any type of release agent is your goal, then the Prusa smooth PEI probably isn't the choice for you.

For me, quick wipe of the PEI sheet with Windex (generic brand really) using a paper towel is pretty much painless.  I print almost exclusively in PETG, 10 -15 prints per week.  I've never had a print lose adhesion prematurely nor have I had any problems getting them off the sheet after it cools off.

Posted : 13/01/2021 7:15 pm
dimprov liked
Bill Marcy
(@bill-marcy)
Eminent Member

I have been using Thekiinngg on a few of my MK3S='s and a mini and the textured sheet gives great adhesion, and instant release.   I am liking them alot, will buy more. 

Posted : 13/01/2021 9:07 pm
Swiss_Cheese
(@swiss_cheese)
Reputable Member

all of my Prusa sheets smooth and textured have been great for PETG no issues, I do want to try one of the satin sheets but none available at the time of writing this, no big deal though it can wait.

Posted : 13/01/2021 11:20 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
Posted by: @swiss_cheese

all of my Prusa sheets smooth and textured have been great for PETG no issues, I do want to try one of the satin sheets but none available at the time of writing this, no big deal though it can wait.

Same here, and ditto on the want to try the satin plate.

Posted : 15/01/2021 9:19 am
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Illustrious Member

I also have no problem printing various materials with the smooth and textured Prusa sheets. I have also tested the satin sheet and it works just as well. I like the texture even more than the normal textured one because it is a bit more subtle.

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 15/01/2021 10:30 am
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member

Anyone tried PEX?  It's one of the print surfaces now being offered by WAM BAM. Is it same PEX material as is used in plumbing water supply lines?

Posted : 15/01/2021 12:23 pm
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member

Reporting back:  The geckoTek is performing well as a build plate for PETG, provided you wipe it with IPA about once every 5 to 10 prints.  If you don't, it will lose adhesion near the ends of long printed objects and allow them to warp.   The manufacturer claims each sticker lasts 100 prints. I haven't been keeping count on the first sticker, which is still in good shape, but I'll try counting on the next sticker whenever it is that I replace it.

Posted : 23/01/2021 10:23 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Illustrious Member

@dimprov

Interesting material! The foil I did not know until now and I will get for testing purposes. 21 euro without shipping costs is however a handsome price 👍 

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 23/01/2021 11:06 pm
prusanewuser
(@prusanewuser)
Reputable Member

Hi, the Prusa textured sheet caused texture on one side of my print. I prefer smooth looking without any texture. What product do you recommend? Tried the Prusa PEI smooth sheet but it was hard to remove the prints from the sheet. Tried to put the included glue on the smooth sheet before printing but it did not help.

This post was modified 1 month ago by prusanewuser
Posted : 25/01/2021 12:28 am
prusanewuser
(@prusanewuser)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @dimprov

Reporting back:  The geckoTek is performing well as a build plate for PETG, provided you wipe it with IPA about once every 5 to 10 prints.  If you don't, it will lose adhesion near the ends of long printed objects and allow them to warp.   The manufacturer claims each sticker lasts 100 prints. I haven't been keeping count on the first sticker, which is still in good shape, but I'll try counting on the next sticker whenever it is that I replace it.

Is the surface completely smooth or textured? Do you put it on top of the PEI smooth sheet or textured sheet is OK too?

This post was modified 1 month ago by prusanewuser
Posted : 25/01/2021 12:32 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
Posted by: @prusanewuser

Hi, the Prusa textured sheet caused texture on one side of my print. I prefer smooth looking without any texture. What product do you recommend? Tried the Prusa PEI smooth sheet but it was hard to remove the prints from the sheet. Tried to put the included glue on the smooth sheet before printing but it did not help.

The whole point of the textured sheet is to get a textured surface on the bottom of the print.

For PETg on the smooth sheet, be sure to use a release agent.  The glue stick that comes with the printer will work, but things like Layerneer will go on with a much thinner coat than the glue stick.  Your PETg prints will come off with a gentle twist of the smooth sheet if you use a release agent and allow the plate to cool to near room temperature when the print is complete.

Posted : 25/01/2021 12:48 am
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

I practice the old ways, handed down through the generations from back when smooth PEI ruled the land. Clean bare PEI for PLA. Give the clean sheet a spritz with Windex, or even a few wipes of the fingers for PETG. Dedicate one PEI surface to the gods to PETG, the other to the usage of man for mundane things like PLA.

I find a PETG surface tends to "season" and get very consistent with use. If it starts to appear shiny, wash it down again and wipe with fingers or Windex. Avoid going back-and-forth.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 25/01/2021 2:49 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member

I learned on glass at our local 'makerspace' and had some trips and stumbles when climbing the learning curve with the Prusa smooth sheet.  I got impatient removing a larger ABS print, used a metal kitchen implement for some 'gentle persuasion', and ripped a few pieces of the coating off. 🙁

The Prusa sheets do take some getting used to, and yes, I think there is some evidence that 'seasoning' helps with the adhesion.

PLA, however (I never used it until I got the Prusa) is something I never had any issues with.  I found that it worked just fine on both the smooth and textured sheets as long as a release agent is used and that the plate is cooled to almost room temperature before removing.

This post was modified 1 month ago by jsw
Posted : 25/01/2021 2:55 am
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Illustrious Member

@bobstro

To borrow a saying from Southern Churches: Say it again, brother, say it again.  

Also, it is easier to remove PETG most of the time if you let it cool to at least 40-50C or lower.  You will be less likely to damage the sheet and print.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 25/01/2021 3:25 am
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member
Posted by: @prusanewuser
Posted by: @dimprov

Reporting back:  The geckoTek is performing well as a build plate for PETG, provided you wipe it with IPA about once every 5 to 10 prints.  If you don't, it will lose adhesion near the ends of long printed objects and allow them to warp.   The manufacturer claims each sticker lasts 100 prints. I haven't been keeping count on the first sticker, which is still in good shape, but I'll try counting on the next sticker whenever it is that I replace it.

Is the surface completely smooth or textured? Do you put it on top of the PEI smooth sheet or textured sheet is OK too?

GeckoTek is completely smooth.  It doesn't require a release agent for PETG, and I'm not using one either.  I do though recommend printing the first layer high.  If you squish too much then releasing might be a problem.  I would say the same for other surfaces.  

It's just a sticker.  You'll need a spring steel blank to attach it to.  I'm not sure how it would perform if you pasted it directly over a PEI sheet, as I haven't tried that.  I'm guessing it would work, but I haven't read of anyone who has trialed it that way.  I have removed a smooth Prusa PEI sheet from spring steel before, and IMHO it's more trouble than it's worth.

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by dimprov
Posted : 25/01/2021 10:41 pm
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member
Posted by: @bobstro

I practice the old ways, handed down through the generations from back when smooth PEI ruled the land. Clean bare PEI for PLA. Give the clean sheet a spritz with Windex, or even a few wipes of the fingers for PETG. Dedicate one PEI surface to the gods to PETG, the other to the usage of man for mundane things like PLA.

I find a PETG surface tends to "season" and get very consistent with use. If it starts to appear shiny, wash it down again and wipe with fingers or Windex. Avoid going back-and-forth.

"There's no school like the old school."  😀 

Regarding GeckoTek, I'm simply reporting back on a new material that people may or may not want to try.  I like Prusa's textured PEI a lot.   It's A#1.   For me it performs great for PETG.  If I wanted a smooth surface though, I'd reach for GeckoTek over smooth PEI.  I did have mostly good success using talc on the smooth PEI as a release agent.   From the comments here, it sounds as though Windex might be even better.  I tried a few different release agents on smooth PEI a couple years ago, and I don't recall now whether or not Windex was one of them.  Probably worth revisiting someday.

Posted : 25/01/2021 11:25 pm
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member
Posted by: @cwbullet

 

Also, it is easier to remove PETG most of the time if you let it cool to at least 40-50C or lower.  You will be less likely to damage the sheet and print.  

For GeckoTek it works best if you let it cool all the way to ambient, which is what the manufacturer recommends.  That said, I have gotten away with removing prints while still in the 30C<=40C range, but I'm not sure whether doing that reduces it's useful life or not.  

I don't know whether the rate of cooling makes any difference or not with either GeckoTek or PEI.  Obviously directly the airflow of a large fan against it during cooldown would considerably speed up the process.

----------------------------

There's a guy on youtube who seems credible who claims great results using an inexpensive sheet of polycarbonate as a build surface.  Anyone here tried that?  

This post was modified 1 month ago by dimprov
Posted : 25/01/2021 11:38 pm
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