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  1. #1

    Use Elmer's for bed adhesion

    I'm confused why people are using so many different methods to stick their prints down - just use Elmer's glue. I'm certainly not the only one using it, but it doesn't seem very common, and I don't get why.

    I print PETG, PLA, and many specialty PLAs all day and never have prints coming loose or warping, even when they are 20+ inches long. All I do... I drip a little water on the build plate - borosilicate glass plate in my case. Then do some zig zags with Elmer's, and quickly smear it around with a small foam brush. I start preheating the bed at the same time, and in a couple minutes, it's ready to print. When the print is done, I just remove the glass plate and stick it in the freezer for 10 min, and the print is usually just laying there when I come back, or else I just push on it a tiny bit with one finger. Easy.

    No clue why people are fighting with purple gluestick, blue tape, hairspray, special print surfaces, special glues, etc. Everything I've tried so far is very simple, except polycarbonate I had to play around with (I'm having to use high bed temps, 130 C+, and special glue or print surface.)

    Purple glue stick - Doesn't work at all for me, and I don't understand how it is working for so many people. I can literally blow my prints off the bed. Zero adhesion. Useless.

    Blue tape - Prints don't fail, but I get a lot of warping. Also, I don't understand how people have their bed at 60C with blue tape - it just peels up for me?

    Hairspray - Works ok sometimes, but often fails.

    Special print surfaces - Definitely works, but sometimes impossible to remove prints. Probably my fault for not using hairspray, gluestick, or windex, but why would I do all that? And way too expensive when you screw up and have to keep replacing a $15-30 item.

    Special glues - Definitely works, but sometimes very hard to remove prints, and not super cheap.

    Elmer's is nearly free and works great for me. Also, no need to reapply each print - just add a few drops of water and swirl it around some more. Also easy to clean - just put it under a faucet or shower and leave it for a few minutes and it's magically clean when you come back. Anyway, you might give it a try if you haven't.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    getting prints to stick to whatever the surface has more to do with proper starting height than anything else. .03 to high and you are going to have problems.. add some tape and it takes up the space and all is good.. I used glass with either glue stick or polyimide tape.. Got tired of the Nylon and PETG pullin off the tape and went to glue stick for now.. When I get a print that will NOT come off, just run the plate under water to remove the glue stick and print.For faster removal than putting it in the freezer, spray print at bed level with caned air propelant (can upside down so it comes out as a liquid) it will do the same thing as the freezer but in 5 seconds.. and yes it is costly if you print a lot of things but you pay for speed..

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    gluestick is essentially the same as pva liquid glue.
    They both leave a layer of pva behind.

    It's just easier to apply with a gluestick :-)

  4. #4
    Technologist TommyDee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Every printer and every print is different. I use LokBuild bare on PLA and can't remove my prints. I use glue only, and the glue peels up from the acrylic bed surface. I use glue on LokBuild and ABS sticks without curling; pull off the part and the glue stays with the Lokbuild. Borosilicate glass seems to be a panacea for build plates and I understand why. But not all printers are equipped with glass build plates. Aluminum plates often cause thermal issues when allowed to get too cold. And of course, not everyone has a heated bed or uses one on every print. And then throw in the alchemy of the specific material. There is no one answer in my experience.

    I've tried the clear Elmer's school glue; Fail! I've tried blue tape; 9 out of 10 brands fail! I've tried acrylic surfaces; Fail! I've tried an Alumina bed; Big fail! These are not 100% fails, but enough to make the risk much greater.

    Everyone will end up finding their niche in adhesion based on their printer. I've been known to plop a square inch of blue tape on the plate just to make a quick print. For the most part, I use a slurried 3D Systems Cube Glue on LokBuild for my ABS printer. A little water every so often will keep the surface plenty fresh. For PLA, I qualify filament suppliers by their ability to adhere to LokBuild on a cold bed. Some filaments are LokBuild-philic and some are LokBuild-phobic.

    And I do have an alternative build plate of Borosilicate. Great plate! But it has nothing over LokBuild except maybe the ease of removal.

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