Choosing the Right Bed Surface for your Printer
By: Parker Petty
For beginners and enthusiasts alike, deciding on a bed for your printer is a challenging task. A print that messes up 12 hours in is devastating. That's why picking the proper surface is important. There are many options, each with their own pro's and con's. Luckily we at Fulament make a plate for every type of user! In this weeks post we’ll be talking about different types of print surfaces we provide and which one works best for your application. We want to make your print bed doesn't look like the one below!
Smooth PEI Flex Plates
Smooth PEI Flex Plates are perfect when using PLA, ABS and other polyesters. When the PEI surface is heated, it does a great job adhering to prints, reducing print failures. The print will just release after the plate has cooled down. However, in case a print is still difficult to remove, you can always simply flex the spring steel plate to pop them off. These magnetic surfaces are good up to 130°C before losing their magnetism. Additional care is needed when printing with PETG, as it can fuse to the PEI material when the first layer is extruded too close or too hot. We suggest applying a glue stick or windex as an additional precautionary step to make sure the PEI surface does not get damaged. This specific sheet leaves a beautiful glass like finish. To avoid damaging the plate, be sure to set your first layer height correctly, not doing so can cause the nozzle dig into the plate.
Fulament’s smooth PEI Flex Plates are available for purchase in different sizes here:
Fulament Spring Steel PEI Flex Bed
Textured / Smooth Double Sided PEI Flex Plates
Much like the previously mentioned option, textured flex plates work in an identical way. The only difference is the textured finish that it will leave on the bottom of your parts. Additionally, this textured surface is not damaged as easily as the smooth PEI, leaving more room for small mistakes and some more capability when using co-polyesters like PETG. Additionally, this plate comes double-sided, one being smooth PEI and the other is textured. This allows you to choose between both surface finishes without ever having to re-level your bed!
Fulament Powder Coated / Smooth double sided PEI Flex Plate
Fula-mat PC Bed Sticker
Another more affordable option is the Fulamat PC stickers. These can be applied as a sticker to any existing build platform, whether it’s glass, aluminum, or mirror. They are especially helpful while using exotic materials such as PETG, nylon, TPU, PC, ABS and more. This simple one step solution adheres extremely well to any material, sometimes too well, so properly adjusting your printer is essential for getting your parts to release. Additionally, you can stick these mats on the empty back of smooth PEI plates to also be able to flex the parts off.