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  1. #1

    In search of the ultimate build plate/surface...

    Hi all,

    After about two months of my CTC printer printing really nicely, I started to get prints that were either not sticking, warping or both. I finally realized my stock aluminum built plate on my CTC printer is not flat. It has a dip in the middle that has made my printing That has made me considered replacing my build bed.

    To avoid confusion, I define Build plate as the main build bed, in my case the aluminum plate that the heating sheet attaches too. I define build surface as what sits on top of the bed (tape, buildtak, etc). Just so I am properly managing my expectations, are build plates considered 'consumable items'? I sure hope not.

    Ideally, I am looking for a LONG term solution with little to no fuss.

    Here is my top list for build plates:
    - Maghold Build Plate ( : Just a build plate, but looks pretty sturdy and less likely to warp.
    - GeckoTec : This has a lot of people raving about how great it works. For $85 I get a magnetic build plate and the geckotec plate for pla/abs. My concern is longevity of the build surface.
    - Glass : I really rather not deal with glass because of the glue/tape/hairspray,etc. I could be swayed if long term cost would be lower than the other options.

    Here are my list of build surface options:
    - BuildTak : I have tried it, not bad. It does eventually wear out and not exactly cheap. So will mostly likely discontinue use.
    - GeckoTec : as above, sounds like a great option, but I am concerned about its longevity.
    - Zebra/Fleks : same as GeckoTec
    - Printbite : This sounds incredible, but I don't really know where to get it. again, not sure of the price or longevity.
    - PEI : I have a sheet (.003" 12x12), but have not been able to test it. I realize this is also a consumable, but any thoughts on how it will last in relation to the other options? Not super excited about having to use 3M thermal tape that isn't cheap either.

    At this point I am leaning toward MagHold and one of the build surface options. Any thoughts on what combination would give the results with long lasting use. I don't mind spending the money for a long lasting solution.

    I am looking forward to the responses.

  2. #2
    Student sdtag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    So Cal
    I started with blue tape and the glue stick.
    I went to 3D Eez, a brush on surface
    I bought a Geckotek plate and I love it
    I tried Build Tak - I had to wait too long to get the print off.
    I am back to Geckotek.
    When I first installed my Geckotek plate, I forgot to adjust my z offset and dug a nice groove into the plate. Now I just try to avoid that area when I print. I have had it about 3 or 4 months and so far so good. I wipe it off about every other week with alcohol or acetone.
    The only downside, and I'm not sure if it's the plate or my printer, I have to keep adjusting my z offset about every week or so. I'm not sure what's changing but when I get a print and the bottom layer looks funny or lets go I adjust my z offset and it's good again. I print using ABS mostly and some PLA.
    And of course "Levelness is next to Godliness"

  3. #3
    The "Levelness" has really been the bane of my existence. I put most of the blame on my aluminum build plate. After discovering the dip in the center my quest for a durable and FLAT started.

    GeckoTek looks very promising. My only stopping point is how durable/long lasting it will be.

    I would LOVE to try Printbite, but have no idea how I can get it here in the states.

  4. #4
    I will tell you that the geckotek plates are amazing. I was a fairly early tester with them and Brad over there was nice enough to share with me that my unbiased and brutal honesty about the product (early on) helped them decide to NOT settle and keep pushing for a better product... I think what they have now is stunningly fantastic. And by the way i BOUGHT my initial plates so I had no freebies for an endorsement

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    I'm fairly certain they will ship Printbite anywhere.

    I'm interested in trying it too. But I want to get a nice sheet of Borosillicate Glass first. I don't want to adhere an expensive sheet of Printbite to a cheap piece of window glass just to have it break later.

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