Getting PLA to stick to a cold bed

  • Right now my heated bed is down and I had no time to try and fix it and I am trying to print something for a friend. I am having the PLA lift around the edges which I have NEVER experienced. The glue is not helping like it did with the heat. And I also tried rubbing alcohol on the masking tape I use, heard that helps and it was not that much better than the glue stick. What can I do to keep the plastic sticking to the bed during print.

    I will note that the lift is not super bad, but I do like the littlest of lift on any print.

    Point a hair dryer at the underside of the bed :D

  • Most of the same reccomendations that apply for adhesion to a hot bed apply for a cold one. The first ones to come to mind:

    • really dial in the nozzle height

    • make the first layer taller than the rest (e.g.: 0.2mm if the rest of your print is 0.1mm)

    • print the first layer very slowly

    • print the first layer at higher temperature

    • use a brim or a raft (on my first printer, that had no heated bed, rafts gave the least deformation)

    • turn off the part fan for the first layer

    • adapt your model to reduce twisting forces (relief cuts, print it in parts, choose orientation wisely, etc...)

    If your slicer has this feature, you could also try to print with a shroud.

    Note that modern Cura has a "brim gap" option that makes brim a lot less offensive. By leaving 0.1 mm or so between the model and the brim you make it removable without damage to the print.

  • Fresh 3M blue painter’s tape coated in a watered down solution of Elmer’s white glue works wonders - even when cold - for PLA.

    The tape needs to be re-applied and coated for each print for it to really stick, but it beats every other print surface I have tested for PLA other than PEI @ 70 °C. I’m guessing it has something to do with microscopic surface fibers on the tape...

    (I like to print PETG as well, and that sticks too well to PEI, so I use blue 3M tape for both.)

    I print onto painters tape on my unheated bed... so yes, this works, but the gliue is overkill XD

    I often eschew the glue if I’m printing a part with low risk of warping, but if I need the overkill for a higher-risk part (e.g. long narrow structural elements) then the glue can make the difference between low-warp, and no-warp.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM