How can I best clean the print bed after a print?
I've occasionally had issues with excess filament residue getting stuck to the print bed. There are ways to prevent this, but sometimes even these precautions aren't enough. Over time, residue can build up. I've observed this in some printers, though not others.
Are there any techniques to best clean print beds? In the past, I've used various typical cleaning supplies, with different degrees of success. However, I don't know if this will lead to damage to the printer over time.
The printer I'm using has a glass print bed, which I occasionally partially cover with blue painter's tape during printing.
There are too many types of bed material (glass, aluminum, granite, ceramic, plastic, PEI, PET, specific manufacturer material, plastic, garolite, etc) with too many adhesion methods (Kapton, slurry, tape, glue, etc) to be able to answer this.
What material is your print bed? Do you use any surface treatments to help adhesion? Is the bed heated?
If you are printing with ABS (or PLA), acetone will dissolve it. Simply pour
some on the bed and wipe it off (beware, acetone can damage beds that have a coating or a plastic sheet over them, be sure to test this first).
Heating the bed back up may make the plastic softer and easier to
If you are using tape on the bed, you could remove the tape to remove
the plastic stuck to the tape.
After doing more research, I stand corrected. Acetone will dissolve PLA, but it is less efficient that ABS. It would also turn it white so it is not used for standard printing. I will edit my answer.
My usual solution for cleaning the glass bed on my printer is a glass scraper (basically just a razor blade with a handle on it):
Regardless of what kind of filament (abs/pla/nylon) or surface treatment (glue/painters tape/abs slurry) I've used the glass scraper always takes it right off, and with the style I posted a picture of the blade is flexible and thin enough it's also useful for peeling up the edge of prints that are stuck to the bed.
When I print PLA on glass plate, I clean the glass with cold water and dishwashing liquid. Cold water! And no wipe! Cold water should take all dishwashing liquid "to the ground". Now you have glass as clean as possible. Now the filament sticks to the glass far better than when glass is not clean.
But of course it doesn't fix problem of cleaning HB after print. To reduce this problem I use glue stick (paper glue). I don't know if it's common but I do like this technique.
So having clean glass I spread (grease) some glue stick. It doesn't really matter if HB is cold or hot. This gives me a VERY strong adhesive force between the extruded filament and the glass. It's so strong that there is almost no way to detache it by hand. I use a paper knife.
Now you still have thin layer of glue and you can print again / add another layer of glue (but not more than 2..3 times) or wash it with hot water. After few times it's good to clean it again with dishwashing liquid and cold water.
This technique is amazing.
I use hair spray directly on my glass bed , then just a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a small piece of paper towel to clean it...that removes all surface materials... I don't use tape any more... Russ