Imagine you have spent hours designing and creating the perfect miniature or ornament, hours of pain painstakingly creating and sculpting to get to the point where you can print. Now, you finally get to print your product and reap the fruits of your labor.
Your print has been completed, and now you get to handle your amazing creation. Only, you cannot remove your build from the print bed.
How can you get it off without damaging the print? In this article, we will look at several ways you can remove a design from a stubborn print bed.
The first and most obvious method you should try first is brute force. Use one hand to hold the print bed down and the other to push or pull on the print itself. Hopefully, if all goes well, you will be able to pull your design off the print bed without damaging it.
But, this is a risky way to get your print off the bed, you can easily damage your print, especially if your design is detailed and has intricate features.
If there is a part of your print that has a gap or groove, you can use an implement to try and ply the print from the bed. However, you go about trying to use your strength to remove your print, this usually works best for designs that are strong.
So, bear that in mind before you roughly try to pull your design before trying this method.
Pry It Loose With A Flat Blade
This method is probably the most common method if you find a flat sharp blade, paint scraper, or a spatula you can try to pry your print loose from the bed.
The main drawback of this method is safety. Because you are handling something sharp, it is essential that you take care. Try to push away from yourself so that if you slip, you are less likely to injure yourself.
When you are trying to pry your design loose, take care not to scratch the surface of the print because this can affect the level of your bed and as such negatively affect the adhesion of future prints.
Replace The Build Platform
If prints getting stuck is a consistent problem for you, a great alternative could be switching out the build plate. In particular, you could use a flexible build plate, this is essentially a plate or bed that is supposed to bend.
This makes it easier to remove your prints, with a simple bend and flex of your bed your prints should just pop off. If you are looking at buying a flexible plate, it would be wise to keep in mind your dimensions.
This is so that your plate will still be able to fit on your 3D printer. If you bought a plate that was too big, it would not fit and the hunt for another plate would have to continue.
Use Layers On Your Build
This method basically involves creating or adding another layer to your build plate in order to separate your print from the printing surface. You could use tape, sheets, or glue between the bottom of your print and build plate, this will act as a buffer layer.
If you want to use one of these layers for your print, you will need to recalibrate the Z Offset, this basically takes into account the increased height in your build plate.
When your print is done you can take the buffer layer off, if you have decided to use glue you can easily get it off by placing the plate under running water. This will help get rid of the glue and help your print to fall off the bed.
This method is simple yet effective, sometimes all you need to remove a print from the bed is to lower the temperature.
As your materials get colder they contract, taking advantage of the different cooling rates of your print bed and printed design is a great way to get your print off the bed. This method is especially effective if you have a glass or aluminum plate, this is because these materials are more temperature-sensitive than others.
All you need to do is allow your print to cool down to room temperature if your part is still stuck, place the bed, and print in a fridge for the freezer. Once the bed has cooled down even more you can try to take the print off again, at this point your print should pop off the print bed easily. If not, then try to put it back into the fridge or freezer for a little longer.
Another way you can use temperature to get your print off the base is to use cold water. All you need to do is place your print and plate under a cold water tap, allowing the cold water to run over them both. The change in temperature should cause the print and plate to contract and thus help your design to pop off the plate.
If you have used glue or another sticky substance, you can run it under warm water first to help remove any of the adhesives. After this, you can run the plate under cold water, try to avoid wetting the print. The reason for this is that this method works best if only the print or the plate is cooled.
After allowing your plate to run under the water for a while, you can try to remove the print with your hands. If it still doesn’t come off, try to run your plate under the water again for a while and try again. If your print still does not come off, you may have to try another method.
Using Jewelry Wire Or Dental Floss To Saw It Off
We love unconventional methods, and using floss is certainly unconventional. All you need to do for this method is place the floss between the base of your print to the print bed and saw back and forth. The friction should help your printed part to come off the bed.
If you do not have dental floss handy, you can easily use substitutes or even stronger strings to make this method work. Jewelry wire is a great substitute for floss if you have any.
Use A Raft
If you enable a raft on your 3D slicer, you will find that it is easier to remove your printed parts. In addition to that, you do not have to worry about damaging your raft, as it will probably be thrown away once you have used it. A raft is essentially a buffer layer between the print and build plate; they are also designed to improve adhesion.
It makes the most sense to remove the raft from the build plate before you try and get the print off. So long as you are only touching the raft and not your print itself, you should not damage your build. If your creation does not come off while your product is on the raft, you can easily use one of the other methods to pry your design from it.
But, removing your print should be much easier because of the shape of the raft.
This should not be the first port of call when you try to remove your print from the print bed. This is because the solvent can corrode and ruin the textures of your print. If you have no other options, you should try to use a solvent.
One of the most popular ones is called isopropyl alcohol or IPA and acetone. If you add a solvent to the base of your print where it is joined to the bed, the solvent will soften the area and make it easier to use a prying tool to get your print off the print bed.
It is important that you do not use a lot of solvents, as too much can lead to issues like degradation of your build surface.