The print bed (build plate, build platform)

With 3D printing, the printing bed has a central task. Depending on the type of printer, the print bed moves horizontally or vertically in the room or is still standing and the print head is moving.

A print bed must be flat

The impact on the print bed of a 3D printer is high. For a good print, it is essential that the first layer of plastic adheres to the print bed and does not become detached from the print bed in the further course of 3D printing. For this purpose it is also important that the print bed is very level. Larger gradations in the flatness include that the first layer is too thin in some places or that no plastic is applied because the gap between the print head and the print bed is too small. If the gap becomes too large due to the unevenness, this part of the first layer no longer sticks properly.

The print bed - different materials

There are various materials that can be placed on a print bed or with which the print bed can be coated or glued. There is another way to get a print bed that the plastic adheres well to.
One can do a print bed with different adhesive layers or film values, there is the possibility to spray a layer or otherwise onto which for permanent print beds.

Sticking on a print bed is a simple and controversial option, e.g. to make a glass plate, a mirror or another material liable for the plastic.

Cover the print bed with masking tape

A printing bed can also be prepared very effectively for 3D printing using special masking tape. Normal masking tape is also necessary, but it does not have the excellent adhesive properties of a temperature-resistant special masking tape. There are e.g. the blue crepe that comes with the Makerbot products and that works and adheres excellently. Unfortunately it is quite expensive. In our shop you get an inexpensive alternative from Tesa. It is temperature resistant up to 120 ° C and can be used several times before it starts to dissolve. The masking tapes all have the property that they are very easy to stick to the print bed and can also be removed. They are cheap and result in a beautiful, slightly structured surface on which the traces of the print become blurred. An object that was printed on masking tape has a very nice, homogeneous surface.

Cover the print bed with metallic foils

In the hardware store you will find a large selection of structured metallic foils. You can use this to give the underside of your print a certain look. Liquid plastic adheres very well to many foils. However, they are not always so easy to apply to the print bed and it is often very difficult to remove them without leaving any residue.

Prepare the print bed with hairspray or glue stick

In the early days of 3D printing on the consumer market, it was very popular to coat the print bed with hairspray or glue stick. Some manufacturers of 3D printers still recommend this process today. In our experience, we cannot recommend this. The mess is just too big and the mechanics and electronics of a 3D printer just don't do it well if it is regularly sprayed with hairspray.

Permanent printing beds or printing bed with a permanent film

There are various materials that can be used permanently as a print bed. It can be printed on rimmed glass plates or on glass fiber composites (GRP) or carbon fiber composites (KFK). However, these materials have in common that a heated print bed is necessary because the materials do not adhere cold. According to our experience, however, liability decreases over time.

Aternaitv also has special films (PET, BuildTak) that can be glued to an existing print bed. Here, too, you can find the different structures in the surface of the printed object after printing. You can influence the optics of the print by choosing the print bed.

Fazt print bed

Our faforit remains the heat-resistant masking tape from Tesa. It is robust, easy to apply and easy to remove. The print adheres well and the adhesive tape is cheap.