How can I best clean the print bed after a print?

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I've occasionally had issues with excess filament residue getting stuck to the print bed. There are ways to prevent this, but sometimes even these precautions aren't enough. Over time, residue can build up. I've observed this in some printers, though not others.

Are there any techniques to best clean print beds? In the past, I've used various typical cleaning supplies, with different degrees of success. However, I don't know if this will lead to damage to the printer over time.

The printer I'm using has a glass print bed, which I occasionally partially cover with blue painter's tape during printing.

HDE 226868

Posted 2016-01-13T20:59:21.280

Reputation: 1 256

4There are too many types of bed material (glass, aluminum, granite, ceramic, plastic, PEI, PET, specific manufacturer material, plastic, garolite, etc) with too many adhesion methods (Kapton, slurry, tape, glue, etc) to be able to answer this.tamarintech 2016-01-14T05:36:01.713

What material is your print bed? Do you use any surface treatments to help adhesion? Is the bed heated?Martin Carney 2016-01-14T19:08:54.733

@tamarintech I narrowed it down to my situation,HDE 226868 2016-01-14T21:30:10.287

@MartinCarney Edited.HDE 226868 2016-01-14T21:30:17.080

Answers

8

  • If you are printing with ABS (or PLA), acetone will dissolve it. Simply pour some on the bed and wipe it off.

  • Heating the bed back up may make the plastic softer and easier to remove.

  • If you are using tape on the bed, you could remove the tape to remove the plastic stuck to the tape.

Eric Johnson

Posted 2016-01-13T20:59:21.280

Reputation: 2 098

So, acetone will not work if I'm using PLA?HDE 226868 2016-01-13T21:15:53.077

1After doing more research, I stand corrected. Acetone will dissolve PLA, but it is less efficient that ABS. It would also turn it white so it is not used for standard printing. I will edit my answer.Eric Johnson 2016-01-13T21:18:20.403

As Eric Johnson says, Acetone will work with PLA, but I've had just as much success with hot soapy water and a sponge on my glass surface.PostEpoch 2016-01-16T19:07:03.423

7

My usual solution for cleaning the glass bed on my printer is a glass scraper (basically just a razor blade with a handle on it):

glass scraper

Regardless of what kind of filament (abs/pla/nylon) or surface treatment (glue/painters tape/abs slurry) I've used the glass scraper always takes it right off, and with the style I posted a picture of the blade is flexible and thin enough it's also useful for peeling up the edge of prints that are stuck to the bed.

1337joe

Posted 2016-01-13T20:59:21.280

Reputation: 431

This and warm water should get you taken care of.Davo 2017-09-20T16:23:58.757

1

When I print PLA on glass plate, I clean the glass with cold water and dishwashing liquid. Cold water! And no wipe! Cold water should take all dishwashing liquid "to the ground". Now you have glass as clean as possible. Now the filament sticks to the glass far better than when glass is not clean.

But of course it doesn't fix problem of cleaning HB after print. To reduce this problem I use glue stick (paper glue). I don't know if it's common but I do like this technique.

So having clean glass I spread (grease) some glue stick. It doesn't really matter if HB is cold or hot. This gives me a VERY strong adhesive force between the extruded filament and the glass. It's so strong that there is almost no way to detache it by hand. I use a paper knife.

Now you still have thin layer of glue and you can print again / add another layer of glue (but not more than 2..3 times) or wash it with hot water. After few times it's good to clean it again with dishwashing liquid and cold water.

This technique is amazing.

darth pixel

Posted 2016-01-13T20:59:21.280

Reputation: 3 233

1

I have a glass bed and I use plastic razor blades from Scraperite specifically black blade to clean it up. Looks like it's the best alternative to metal blade so far.

Nick

Posted 2016-01-13T20:59:21.280

Reputation: 11

1

I use hair spray directly on my glass bed , then just a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a small piece of paper towel to clean it...that removes all surface materials... I don't use tape any more... Russ

Russ Campbell

Posted 2016-01-13T20:59:21.280

Reputation: 11

Oh I should say that I use hair spray at the start of the print, and a bit of rubbing alcohol to lean it... RussRuss Campbell 2017-09-19T18:51:34.187

0

I use a razor blade scraper to get stuff off that is sticking. Priory to printing I heat and level the build plate, then wipe it down with alcohol to get any greasey fingerprints off of it.

My Scraper

EvilTeach

Posted 2016-01-13T20:59:21.280

Reputation: 546