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  1. #1
    Regular 3D Printer
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Gaffers Tape on Print Bed Possible Alternative to Glue

    ok, I'm looking for an alternative to the glue which takes time to dry and I think there are options out there that are better. While researching other options I thought about the main issue we need to solve and which material would work, be easy to install and be really cheap. I was considering Buildtak or LokBuild, but these options are pricey and hard to take off and replace if damaged.I know people have gotten no lifting with painter's tape, but it sticks to the printed part.

    So I considered gaffers tape which has very good adhesion properties unless you want to peel it off. When you want it off, you peel it off (peel back at almost 180 degrees and it comes off easily and low residue). Also the exposed surface is matted and has good morphology, but is fairly low surface energy- so it's sort of the mama bear of tapes for this purpose.

    I installed it tonight on the stock bed and really didn't expect it to work because I don't yet understand how the autoleveling/auotgap works and whether it would actually behave as intended. Also I installed it minimizing the gap between strips, while making sure there was absolutely no overlap. I didn't really install the tape with a lot of care or craftsmanship because I really expected it to fail.

    After installing it I performed autolevel and autogap. First autolevel failed and I inspected the plate and noticed a bubble, so I pressed the bubble and made sure it was basically flat. After this very minor tweak autolevel passed, I proceeded to autogap and it passed too. Hhhhm, so far so good. I printed the test print and it did not peel in fact it seemed to behave as good or better than when using glue (because glue thickness varies by application). Also I was happily surprised when the test part peeled off cleaner and with less effort than glue.

    I chose this glue because I do product design and am familiar with many types of adhesives but never used gaffer's tape in a design actually- however the 3M rep gave me a sample and I am still amazed with how many uses I have for this stuff. The brand I had on hand for this was brown from

    I've had this printer for a few days now and am in the process of printing some parts to make the printer have less feed issues.

    This group is awesome, thought I'd offer something back.

    Once removed

    It really did not curl (sorry about the autofocus on my camera). Take my word for it.


    Backside looks better than glue actually. Probably due to uniform thickness

    Here's the tape details, also available in other colors including white, but brown is the only one tested.
    Make sure when taking the printed part off the platform to use spatula and pry on part, taking care to not gouge the tape (err or the side of gouging the part). I have not tested this for durability yet.

    My math says this length should allow 45 applications (30yds at 2 feet or 4 strips at 6 inches per strip per application).
    Not sure how many parts can be printed on one application, but I'm still testing.

    This has only been tested on stock ABS filament with stock firmware 1.11

    Good Luck,

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Ok, here is a larger print some of you may be familiar with . So far so good.

  2. Thanks TommyDee thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Regular 3D Printer
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Here's an alternative I finally found that works on my Ekocycle Cube (aka Cube 3 wannabe... .
    I tried Elmer's Clear glue, hairspray (probably didn't have the right kind), another kind of clear glue - nothing worked for me for PLA.
    Today I tried this:

    Attachment 2515

    From Home Depot - Contractor masking tape. I wipe it with 90% isopropyl after sticking it on the build plate, & replace it after each build.
    My Ekocycle PLA sticks really well - as good as 3DS Cube Glue.
    (PS - @tprothma -- I hope this is adding to, not hijacking, the thread!)

  4. #3
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Jan 2018
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    Hi JohnTee, yes it's definitely an alternative. Yo definitely need something stickier than blue painter's tape. I still prefer gaffer's tape because it sticks really well to the bed is reusable and easily replaceable. I've only had to replace the gaffer's tape once due to a failed gap setting during a calibration resulting in damage. There is also LokBuild and Buildtak, PEI (Ultem)... these are all more permanent solutions. One of the issues with Lokbuild for instance is that it will permanently stick to the bed, due to the type of adhesive, but a layer of gaffer's tape should prevent it from being so hard to remove because I'd prefer a little more tackiness from gaffer's tape, but it definitely is reusable.

    I really want a heated bed and a magnetic spring steel plate with PEI topcoat (see Prusa MK3).


  5. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    I found a blue tape at one time and it was tenacious on both PLA and ABS!

    Tried many other brands and nothing even close.
    I finally found this on Amazon and bought a lot.
    ABS still curls by pulling the tape's glue from the build plate.

    However, this gaffers tape should have a lot better hold to the build plate.
    Attached Images Attached Images



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