Fula-Flex 2.0

Installation & Maintenance Guide

Install Video 

Achieving Optimum Bed Adhesion

Overview

  • DO NOT PRINT PETG OR TPU ON THE SMOOTH PEI SURFACE WITHOUT READING THIS GUIDE. For PETG, we recommend using only the textured PEI. While not recommended, PETG may be printed on smooth PEI with a separation layer such as glue stick or Windex. 
  • Use Isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface between prints. This helps achieve optimal adhesion by removing finger grease and other contaminants from the surface. 
  • Good bed leveling is essential. Driving the hot nozzle into the smooth PEI will permanently indent and damage the sticker. Your leveling should  look like the image shown below.
  • Using a first layer height 0.3mm is recommended. It provides the best adhesion and minimizes the chance of damage when printing with TPU and PETG.

Tips for the Smooth PEI Surface

  •  Smooth PEI is very susceptible to picking up oil from your hands and decreasing adhesion. We recommend wiping down the plate with isopropyl alcohol between every print. 
  •  When heated to high temperatures, the glue under the Smooth sheet might bubble. This is normal and not cause for alarm. The bubbles are only visual and do not raise the surface of the plate.
  • Good bed leveling is essential. Driving the hot nozzle into the smooth PEI will permanently indent and damage the sticker. Your leveling should look like the image shown below.
  • Temperature settings and advice will be specified for each material below.

Tips for the Textured PEI Surface

  • The textured PEI surface is much more durable than the smooth surface. It is not as sensitive to finger oils and bed leveling. It is also superior for some of the tougher materials such as PETG. More details will be given below.  
  •  Leveling the textured PEI can be a little tricky. Due to the raised nature of the pellets, a proper bed leveling may seem like its too close to the bed. Your first layer should look like this:  

Material Settings and Usage

PLA

PLA works very well with both the smooth and textured PEI surfaces. It has great adhesion without damaging the plate. Just make sure you level the bed correctly! When leveled right, it should grip when heated, and release the part when cooled.

Recommended Bed Temperature: 50-60°C

Recommended Surface: Both! 

PETG (READ BEFORE PRINTING)

PETG loves to chemically fuse itself with PEI. This presents a problem for the smooth surface. Bonded PETG can tear out the sticker and cause permanent damage to the plate. To get around it, use a separation layer such as glue stick or Windex. This serves as an intermediary layer between the two materials. Additionally, you can run a cooler first layer with a minimum first layer height of 0.3mm. If you find yourself printing with PETG often, we strongly recommend sticking to the textured plate. PETG can be printed on the textured surface without the need for a separation layer or fear of bonding. We have extensively tested this and despite our best efforts, we were not able to damage the plate.

Recommended Bed Temperature: 90-100°C

Recommended Surface: Textured PEI
  

ABS

ABS is one of the tougher materials to print with. High temperatures, a larger first layer height, and a good base are critical for print success. We also recommend scuffing the smooth PEI with a wool sponge, this increases the adhesion of the surface. PEI is designed to release when cooled, and the higher temperatures of ABS make the plate more susceptible to cool ambient air or a breeze, releasing the part pre-maturely. Therefore, we recommend an enclosure if possible. We’ve found that a 0.3mm first layer height and a brim or raft significantly help. At the end of the day, this material comes down to trial and error for slicer settings. This is also the material where settings vary the most from brand to brand. Some brands of ABS can print in cooler environments, whereas some need extremely high temperatures.

Recommended Bed Temperature: 100-130°C

Recommended Surface: Both!
 

TPU (READ BEFORE PRINTING)

TPU, like PETG, enjoys bonding to the smooth PEI surface. If you print TPU regularly, we strongly recommend only using the textured surface. However, if you choose to print on the smooth surface, use a separation layer such as glue stick or windex. This acts as an intermediary layer between the two materials. TPU loves to stick to PEI regardless of the bed temperature, so the lower the better!

Recommended Bed Temperature: 0-50°C

Recommended Surface: Textured PEI
 
  

Maintaining your Fula-Flex

The Fula-Flex 2.0 was designed for easy and care-free maintenance. We test plates for longevity, and they have held the test of time. We still have our first ever Fula-Flex 1.0 production plate that gets used almost daily. Take care of the plate and it should last you a lifetime! Here are some tips:   

  • Use only isopropyl alcohol to clean your flex plate. If you find yourself needing a more aggressive cleaning, you may use acetone on the smooth  sheet ONLY! Do not use it on the textured sheet. And make sure you only do it once in a blue moon, long exposure to acetone makes the PEI brittle and prone to cracking. 
  • If after a long period of time you find the smooth sheet is losing adhesion, it can be refreshed. Give the sheet a good acetone wipe and lightly sand it using 400-600 grit sandpaper or steel wool. After sanding, clean the plate with isopropyl alcohol.      

Causes for poor adhesion

Incorrect Bed Temperatures 

A good indication of incorrect temperatures is having your first layer fail. Keep in mind, the temperatures we give are only suggestions. They serve as good base points but need to be adjusted to suit your individual needs. Variables such as brand of filament, ambient temperature, humidity, and printer type can affect your optimal temperatures. To tune temperatures, we recommend starting at the lower end of recommend range. Raise the bed temperature by 10°C until adhesion starts to improve. Once you see significant improvement, start adjusting by +/- 5°C until you hit the sweet spot. If this does not work, try adjusting your nozzle temperatures. This is explained in more detail below.

Cool Ambient Air / Cool Breezes

If your parts are randomly releasing mid print, there’s a good chance that it has to do with ambient temperatures. PEI by design is meant to grip when warm, and release when cooled. This works well in the majority of conditions but can be a problem when placed in cooler temperatures. Make sure the room that the printer is placed in is at room temperature. We also recommend making sure your printer is away from any windows or AC vents. We have found that printers in these conditions randomly get hit with cool breezes, causing the PEI to release the part pre-maturely.

Incorrect Nozzle Temperatures

If tuning your bed temperatures didn’t help, then your nozzle temperatures may be incorrect. This isn’t often the case, and is very hard to diagnose. If nothing else is working, then try adjusting your temperatures by +/- 10°C