After a lot of preparation steps for the 3d printing process, from preparing the design, slicing the model, prepare the filament… you finally get the 3d print you want.
However, the whole process can be ruined if you do not do the last step properly, which is to remove the 3d printed object from the printer bed.
Depending on the type of the printer bed, as well as the printing filament, there will be an appropriate way to remove the 3d print from the printer bed.
The following article will provide a full range of methods to safely and gently remove 3d printed objects from the printer bed and ensure that the printed object is not damaged.
- Remove 3D print from different types of 3d printer bed
- Method to remove 3D print according to the Type of Filament
- Other common methods that work
- Wrapping up
Remove 3D print from different types of 3d printer bed
Different types of printer beds are made from different materials. Due to the different chemical nature, each type of material has different adhesion. Choosing the right method to remove 3d prints from printer beds is very important to avoid objects cracking or breaking.
In addition, if you choose the wrong chemicals or tools to remove 3d printed products, it will easily damage the surface of the printer bed. In this section, we will provide the most suitable 3d prints removal method for each type of printer bed.
PEI printer bed
Things to prepare: Alcohol, 3d printer scraper
Step 1: Put a few drops of alcohol around the edges of 3d printed object lying on the PEI printer bed.
Step 2: Use a 3d printer scraper to remove the object from the printer bed
Finally, remember to clean the printer bed with a microfiber cloth soaked in alcohol.
Things to prepare: 3d printer scraper
Compared to other printer beds, it’s quite easy to remove 3d printed objects from the glass printer bed. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: After completing the 3d print, wait for the 3d printer bed and the 3d printed object to cool down (to room temperature). Apply a brute force to remove the 3d printed object from the glass printer bed
Step 2: If you still find it difficult to remove the object from the glass printer bed, remove the printer bed (including 3d printed objects) from the printer and put it in a low-temperature area (eg refrigerator).
Wait about 5-10 minutes, then you can use your hand to pop off the printed object easily. The reason this method makes it easy to remove the 3d printed product from the glass printer bed is because of the different cooling rates of the print bed and the printed object.
Step 3: If you still cannot remove the 3d printed object from the glass printer bed, use a 3d scraper.
Adhesive Tape Bed
Things to prepare: Isopropyl alcohol, 3d scraper
Step 1: Apply alcohol to the edges of the 3d printed object lying on the printer bed and wait about 15 minutes
Step 2: Use a 3d scraper to remove the object from adhesive tape
Step 4: Once the 3d printed object was detached from the printer bed, the adhesive tape may still adhere to the contact part of the object and the printer bed.
Now use it’s time to peel off any remaining tape.
Polypropylene 3d printer bed
Things to prepare: Isopropyl alcohol, 3d scraper
Basically, the polypropylene build plate is absolutely fantastic for getting prints off the bed with zero trouble.
Step 1: After the 3d print is finished, wait for it to cool to room temperature
Step 2: Now you just need to use some hand force to remove the object from the plate. If you find it’s difficult or the printed object is too big, apply some alcohol to the surface before you start the printing process.
You can use a 3d scraper to remove the object, don’t use a too sharp scaper, it may scratch the Polypropylene surface.
Anycubic Ultrabase 3d printer bed
Things to prepare: Isopropyl alcohol, water, 3d scraper
Step 1: Mix 50% water and 50% alcohol and put the mixture in an empty spray bottle. After cooling down, spray the above solution around the connection area of the 3d printed object and the base plate.
Step 2: Wait about 20 seconds, you will hear the sound produced when the bond between object and printer bed is cracked. Now just use your hand to detach the object.
Finally, remove the remaining things on the surface with a 3d scraper and clean the surface with a microfiber cloth.
Method to remove 3D print according to the Type of Filament
Some filaments have very high adhesion to the build plate. If we try to forcefully separate the 3d printed object from the build plate, there is a very high risk that the 3d printed object will break.
In this part of the article, we will learn how to separate the 3d printed object from the build plate depending on the type of filament used in the 3d printing process.
PLA filament has very high adhesion to the surface, sometimes you feel there is no way to separate 3d printed products from PLA from the surface. However, PLA has a very special property that we can take advantage of to separate them from the printer bed, which is poor heat resistance. Normally at 70 degrees Celsius, 3d printed objects made of PLA will soften and reduce adhesion to the printer bed surface.
Some 3d printer has a built-in heated printer bed, if your 3d printer supports this feature, just increase the temperature of the build plate to 70 degrees Celsius before using the 3d scraper to remove the 3d printed object from the build plate.
If your 3d printer does not have a built-in heated bed, you can buy it on market or make it yourself. Here’s how a heated bed looks like:
An alternative method is to use hot water. You can pour hot water at a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius on the printer bed. Next, use 3d scraper to separate the PLA printed object from the build plate.
Before PLA, ABS is the most used filament in 3d printing. However, one of the most painful problems of ABS filament is the high adhesion of 3d printed objects to the printer bed.
The best way to remove a 3d printed object from a printer bed is to use cold temperatures. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Put the printer bed with the 3d printed object in the fridge and wait a few minutes.
Step 2: Wait about 5-10 minutes, low temperature will cause the ABS 3d printed object to shrink, reducing the contact area with the printer bed surface.
It also creates tension on the interface layer that we can take advantage of to remove the 3d printed object from the printer bed. Now just use your hand or a 3d printer scraper to remove the object.
A quite useful method to reduce the adhesion of 3d printed objects to the printer bed surface is to use adhesive tape.
Alternatively, you can use ABS & acetone slurry mix on the print bed before you start the printing process.
Currently, PETG is one of the most popular 3d printing filaments because of its unique properties. PETG has good moisture resistance, high strength, good chemical resistance, and a glossy surface.
However, there is one very annoying thing about using PETG filament, which is that sometimes the 3d print object sticks too much to the printer bed. If you try to use too much force to remove the 3d printed object, it may break the object.
Here’s how to properly remove 3d printed objects from the build plate for PETG Filament.
Step 1: Put some alcohol solution on the contact edge of the 3d printed object and the build plate
Step 2: Wait 2 minutes then use a 3d scrapper to remove the object
Note: You can also make it easier to remove a 3d printed product made from PETG filament from the build plate by avoiding printing directly on build surfaces. Instead, we will use a support surface layer between the 3d printed product and the build plate.
Note: Before printing, you also can apply glue sticks or hairspray onto the surface of the printer bed. In this way, the 3d printed object has good adhesion to the surface and also makes removal much easier.
Other common methods that work
Method #1: Using a Raft for your object.
One of the most effective methods to facilitate the removal of 3d printed model from the printer bed with minimal effort is to enable a raft with slicer software. Here’s how a raft look likes:
Most of the popular 3d slicer software today supports generating rafts automatically. Raft not only helps to improve bed adhesion but also acts as a buffer layer between your print and the build plate, making the removal much easier.
A good raft also reduces the chance of your 3d printed product warping, especially with objects that have a lot of contact with the build plate. You can use your hand with some little force to remove the object. If the raft is too big just use a 3d scraper (with some alcohol), it will help safely remove the object without damaging any parts.
Method #2: Add a buffer layer to the Platform
With this method, we will prevent the 3d printed object from direct contact with the printer bed. The most commonly used buffer layers here are
- Adhesive tape: a layer of adhesive tape on the surface of the printer bed before printing.
- Hair Spray: Applying some Hair spray on the surface of the printer bed before printing makes product removal much easier.
- Glue stick: you will easily remove the object from the build plate if you apply glue on the surface of the printer bed before starting to print. To clean the printer bed, simply rinsing the printer bed under water will completely clean the remaining glue.
- Peelable PEI sheet: we can easily remove printed object when it lies on PEI Sheet.
Method #3: Use Temperature Difference
Another very effective method is to use low temperature (of the refrigerator or water) to separate the printed parts and the build plate.
The different cooling rates of the print bed and the printed object are what make this works. When the 3d print object gets cooler, it will contract and separate itself from the surface.
- Fridge: Put your print bed along with the prints in the freezer for a while. Freezing air will cause the printed object to shrink and this will loosen the grip on your stuck print.
- Coolwater: Place both the build plate and the printed object in a stream of cool water, the printed object will shrink and separate from the build plate.
Method #4: Use Dental Floss
This method sounds weird, but it is also very effective for separating the contact between the 3d printed object and the build plate.
Dental floss is a rather tough and thin material, very suitable for threading between the contact between the 3d printed object and the printer bed.
Note that this method is only suitable for 3d printed objects that have a small contact surface area with the printer bed
Method #5: Use isopropyl or alcohol
Sometimes the 3d printed object sticks too tightly to the printer bed. If you try to use strong hand force or use 3d scraper to separate the object, the 3d printed object may warp, or even break.
To avoid this, use alcohol or acetone to soften the contact area first, then use hand force and a 3d scrapper to separate the 3d printed object. Make sure not to use too much as this can lead to other problems like deterioration of your build surface.
You can go the previous section “Remove 3D print from different types of 3d printer bed” and “Method to remove 3D print according to the Type of Filament” to learn which type of filament and printer bed is eligible to use alcohol and axeton
Hope my article provides useful information to help you find the best method to remove 3d printed objects from the printer bed.
Don’t forget to read the user manuals of each printer as well as the printing filament to avoid using the wrong methods that can damage the printed object or the printer.
If you don’t find the right method for your filament or printer bed, leave a comment below (with pictures). I will be happy to suggest the appropriate method based on my own experience.