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paul.m27
(@paul-m27)
Honorable Member
PEI stickered sheet review

With all the controversy, I just thought I'd post this:

I'm not sure I want a powder coated steel sheet. The flexible steel sheet with glossy PEI is amazing. All the advantages I was looking for: pop the plate off the machine, squirt a bit of alcohol around the print, flex in x and then y, let the alcohol run under and cool the part/plate, pop it off.

I was nervous about the texturing on the powder coated sheet, although I may try one. I'm using a curved spatula to scrape off little stuff (skirts, blobs, initial stripe) with no problems and no marking.

In six months we'll have a better idea of the lifetime of the stickered vs powder coated, but for now count me as a satisfied customer.

Posted : 18/12/2017 12:43 am
rotarypower101
(@rotarypower101)
Estimable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

Really wanted to try the powdercoat, considering it was what I thought I paid for and purchased.

But the PEI sheet is probably the better solution if I were to make a guess. But I have enough of those sheets to make my own since it was my intention to do so anyway as I was hesitant about how the grained surface was going to work out...

I could see where the texture would be a fantastic option for certain things, but for a day to day surface I really think a smooth matte surface would be my preference given the choice.

Does anyone else have a rusty oxidized spring steel sheet under their PEI?

Mine has very clear bands of oxidation that run across the surface under the PEI sheet.

Posted : 18/12/2017 1:19 am
paul.m27
(@paul-m27)
Honorable Member
Topic starter answered:
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

Mine is clean, no rust. When you talk about making your own, what thickness of PEI do you have? The PEI sheets I get here are about 1mm thick, and layering two of them on a steel sheet with 3M tape seems like it would make a 4mm or thicker sheet. Not convinced it would flex well.

A product that would be really useful: 0.25mm thick PEI with a slow drying adhesive. Adhesive is very running at first (think isopropyl alcohol) when you apply it to the bed and you have plenty of time to work out any bubbles. Then adhesive dries for a flat surface.

It seems like the Prusa delivered one is using much thinner PEI. Unclear what adhesive or tape they are using. Definitely a more attractive solution than my normal PEI/3m-tape/glass that I have on my Rostock and Ultimaker.

Posted : 18/12/2017 1:59 am
PeteJ
(@petej)
Eminent Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

I love the PEI-stickered sheet. The film is so thin that it's hard to believe it's there, but it works perfectly.

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 2:17 am
maxx78
(@maxx78)
Estimable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

I dont like the PEI sheet as it damages easily.

Already killed one side of my steel sheet.

I printed PETG without preparing the surface, popped of the part an some of the PEI too.

I think (hope) that doesnot happen with the powder coated sheets.

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 9:37 am
rotarypower101
(@rotarypower101)
Estimable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


Mine is clean, no rust. When you talk about making your own, what thickness of PEI do you have? The PEI sheets I get here are about 1mm thick, and layering two of them on a steel sheet with 3M tape seems like it would make a 4mm or thicker sheet. Not convinced it would flex well.

A product that would be really useful: 0.25mm thick PEI with a slow drying adhesive. Adhesive is very running at first (think isopropyl alcohol) when you apply it to the bed and you have plenty of time to work out any bubbles. Then adhesive dries for a flat surface.

It seems like the Prusa delivered one is using much thinner PEI. Unclear what adhesive or tape they are using. Definitely a more attractive solution than my normal PEI/3m-tape/glass that I have on my Rostock and Ultimaker.

Yeah the oxidation on the sheet steel is ~roughly the same color as the lazer etching, but randomly distributed in a non symmetrical band across both sides....

It's petty, but was a bit of insult to injury considering the last second change...

The PEI I have is adhesive backed from Prusa, and I suspect identical to the PEI build plates received with the MK3.
* Prusa quotes 175um, as measured with adhesive is ~0.35mm per sheet.

I can't figure out quite how they applied that PEI so well for the MK3 beds, it is applied very well.

Posted : 18/12/2017 9:40 am
rotarypower101
(@rotarypower101)
Estimable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


I dont like the PEI sheet as it damages easily.

Already killed one side of my steel sheet.

I printed PETG without preparing the surface, popped of the part an some of the PEI too.

I think (hope) that doesnot happen with the powder coated sheets.

Yeah, it's almost a cruel irony PETG sticks too well to PEI...

That is a known issue I think...

I still do it with caution.

My protocol is to not clean the surface, and for lack of a better description...lube the surface with natural body oils by intentionally wiping my hand and fingers across the surface to leave a slight film buffer.

Probably a silly protocol to follow, but it's working for me without extra effort or any issues so far, and I get the fantastic matte finish PEI affords.

Many people recommend covering the PEI with blue tape or kapton if printing PETG.

I have done several medium sized parts with no appreciable issues following the above, but I am going to guess YMMV.

Posted : 18/12/2017 9:49 am
maxx78
(@maxx78)
Estimable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

Thats why i changed to the "Filaprint" surface on my MK2.

the sheet as a thickness of 0.6mm, so it is much thicker than the PEI sheet Prusa uses.
And PETg does not stick to it like with PEI.

ABS & PLA work like with PEI.

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 10:01 am
jason.s6
(@jason-s6)
Trusted Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


I dont like the PEI sheet as it damages easily.

Already killed one side of my steel sheet.

I printed PETG without preparing the surface, popped of the part an some of the PEI too.

I think (hope) that doesnot happen with the powder coated sheets.

I always clean the bed with window cleaner when using PETG otherwise it bonds really well to the PEI sheet. Its always popped off cleanly and the bed is like new after 9 months of printing. The Prusa website even advises this or glue on their materials guide

Surface preparation: Make sure the surface is clean. Do not use isopropyl alcohol to clean the bed, or the adhesion may be too strong, if you do not have anything else on hand use the bundled glue as a separator after cleaning it. Windex or similar windows cleaner is great option for PET and you don’t need to use the glue after the cleaning. Pour a little amount on unscented paper towel and wipe the print surface.

https://www.prusa3d.com/material-guides/

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 11:30 am
stahlfabrik
(@stahlfabrik)
Honorable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


I dont like the PEI sheet as it damages easily.

Already killed one side of my steel sheet.

I printed PETG without preparing the surface, popped of the part an some of the PEI too.

I think (hope) that doesnot happen with the powder coated sheets.

Are you aware of the Prusa 3D printing handbook? In there: "PETG sticks very well to PEI, which is generally a good thing. But sometimes it could stick a little bit too well and you could rip a piece of PEI from the bed, so you should use a separating agent (e.g. gluestick)."

So have you used glue stick on the PEI and it still ripped?

My guess is that it should be the same "problem" with the powder coated PEI - to avert damages, better use glue stick. The chemical or physical bonding should be the same AND the powder coated PEI has an even bigger surface area.

(But of course I have not tried it yet;-))

Posted : 18/12/2017 11:33 am
maxx78
(@maxx78)
Estimable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

i did not use glue or window cleaner as per the handbook, so defintivly my fault 😳 And did read the manual.. 😳

But the two MK2 we use at work also have damged PEI sheets. It is just a matter of time before you damage them.

With the new spring sheet the risk will be much lower than before

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 3:48 pm
Area51
(@area51)
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


I dont like the PEI sheet as it damages easily.

Already killed one side of my steel sheet.

I printed PETG without preparing the surface, popped of the part an some of the PEI too.

I think (hope) that doesnot happen with the powder coated sheets.

Windows cleaner works great with PETG (don't have to be Windex). I almost only print in PETG and have been using windows cleaner for over a year with success. Apply a thin layer and wipe on cold build plate between prints. Not as messy as glue stick and easy to remove with water and acetone when switching to PLA/ABS (needs good adhesion).

Windows cleaner also works with flexible filaments.

Have a look at my designs on Thingiverse or on PrusaPrinters ;)...
Posted : 18/12/2017 4:04 pm
Bill
 Bill
(@bill-3)
Estimable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


Windows cleaner works great with PETG (don't have to be Windex). I almost only print in PETG and have been using windows cleaner for over a year with success. Apply a thin layer and wipe on cold build plate between prints. Not as messy as glue stick and easy to remove with water and acetone when switching to PLA/ABS (needs good adhesion).

Windows cleaner also works with flexible filaments.

I have not used PETG yet. When you say "easy to remove with water and acetone when switching to PLA/ABS." I am confused as to what you mean. What is easy to remove with water and acetone? The windex? Does it not evaporate, or is there a residue that needs to be removed? I have only used windex on windows and it seems that it completely evaporates when used.

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 6:44 pm
Neal
 Neal
(@neal)
Reputable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

Usually window cleaners do leave a residue. It is what causes water to bead up on newly cleaned glass. Not to mention the blue-ish dye. So "easy to clean up.." just means that the acetone and IPA are taking off the residue from the window cleaner. My guess is that those "contaminants" from the window cleaner are what allow for the easier release of the PETG and needs to be removed before printing with other plastics.

Just a guess tho',

Neal

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 7:12 pm
jason.s6
(@jason-s6)
Trusted Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

It leaves behind residue which reduces adhesion (hence the reason you use it for PETG) so you should clean it with isopropyl alcohol or acetone before printing with PLA/ABS



Windows cleaner works great with PETG (don't have to be Windex). I almost only print in PETG and have been using windows cleaner for over a year with success. Apply a thin layer and wipe on cold build plate between prints. Not as messy as glue stick and easy to remove with water and acetone when switching to PLA/ABS (needs good adhesion).

Windows cleaner also works with flexible filaments.

I have not used PETG yet. When you say "easy to remove with water and acetone when switching to PLA/ABS." I am confused as to what you mean. What is easy to remove with water and acetone? The windex? Does it not evaporate, or is there a residue that needs to be removed? I have only used windex on windows and it seems that it completely evaporates when used.

...
Posted : 18/12/2017 7:17 pm
Area51
(@area51)
Re: PEI stickered sheet review



Windows cleaner works great with PETG (don't have to be Windex). I almost only print in PETG and have been using windows cleaner for over a year with success. Apply a thin layer and wipe on cold build plate between prints. Not as messy as glue stick and easy to remove with water and acetone when switching to PLA/ABS (needs good adhesion).

I have not used PETG yet. When you say "easy to remove with water and acetone when switching to PLA/ABS." I am confused as to what you mean. What is easy to remove with water and acetone? The windex? Does it not evaporate, or is there a residue that needs to be removed? I have only used windex on windows and it seems that it completely evaporates when used.

Filament like ABS won't stick, if the headbed has windows cleaner residue on it . I use water followed by acetone/isopropyl to remove this film when switching to ABS.

It is possible to use too much windows cleaner, that even PETG won't stick. I use a paper towel to distribute the windows cleaner in a thin layer and let it dry before printing.

Have a look at my designs on Thingiverse or on PrusaPrinters ;)...
Posted : 18/12/2017 8:07 pm
ibn
 ibn
(@ibn)
Trusted Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

Does anyone know what this "residue" that helps us with printing PETG is? Is it listed in the ingredients so we can look for it when getting something else than Windex?

Posted : 19/12/2017 3:08 pm
Peter L
(@peter-l)
Honorable Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


Does anyone know what this "residue" that helps us with printing PETG is? Is it listed in the ingredients so we can look for it when getting something else than Windex?

Windex is basically water, detergent, coloring, and a little ammonia (for the smell more than anything else). Since the water and ammonia evaporate, my guess is that the residue is the detergent.

You could try mixing up a very dilute solution of dish soap and see if that works.

Posted : 19/12/2017 4:37 pm
Enginman
(@enginman)
Trusted Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review

FWIW. This site had a good discussion about Windex and what's in it:
https://www.hunker.com/12155369/what-chemicals-are-in-windex

One last comment and then I'll stop - promise..

Wiki shows that the detergent component is 1% of the mix..

Posted : 19/12/2017 5:59 pm
Christopher Tilley
(@christopher-tilley)
Trusted Member
Re: PEI stickered sheet review


Mine is clean, no rust. When you talk about making your own, what thickness of PEI do you have? The PEI sheets I get here are about 1mm thick, and layering two of them on a steel sheet with 3M tape seems like it would make a 4mm or thicker sheet. Not convinced it would flex well.

A product that would be really useful: 0.25mm thick PEI with a slow drying adhesive. Adhesive is very running at first (think isopropyl alcohol) when you apply it to the bed and you have plenty of time to work out any bubbles. Then adhesive dries for a flat surface.

It seems like the Prusa delivered one is using much thinner PEI. Unclear what adhesive or tape they are using. Definitely a more attractive solution than my normal PEI/3m-tape/glass that I have on my Rostock and Ultimaker.

I've found some great adhesives on 3m's website that are stable up to 300f. You can apply a very thin layer and shouldn't add anything to thickness. Other than that you just have to find sheet that makes the thickness you want.

Posted : 19/12/2017 9:39 pm
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