Print Bed Types and Materials for Your 3D Printer!

Print Bed Types and Materials for Your 3D Printer!

So you've probably had your printer for a few months now and are starting to notice something peculiar: your prints refuse to stick to the bed! As you lean in to do your investigation as to why, you notice something pretty obvious: There is left-over material from old prints, scratches, gouges, and smooth spots from old prints gone both good and bad. Or you're just in the market for an upgrade! Either way you're here to learn your options for a new print bed! 

Well, Like just about everything for 3D printing, rest assured you have OPTIONS! And for a budget too!

First, we'll start with the most most common upgrade:


Glass beds come in many different varieties, from tempered and borosilicate glass, to common glass you can find at home improvement stores! Each come with several pros and cons. Glass beds are very easy to clean, and leave a beautiful flat finish to prints! They can also be prone to warping after a time, and like other beds, can be easily scratched! 

We shall start with arguably the best glass type, Borosilicate Glass beds. BS glass comes with a degree of durability compared to it's tempered and normal glass types. BS glass is less likely to warp due to temperature changes compared to other glass. The downside of BS glass is it is easy to chip if prints are removed while the bed is still hot! So remember to let your bed cool down before you pull your creations! 

Next would be Tempered Glass Beds. Tempered glass comes in clutch with shatter resistance! A testament to it's durability comes in the fact that it's used in HOCKEY RINKS to protect the crowd from player impacts and loose hockey pucks! The downside to tempered glass comes in thermal resistance. Tempered glass doesn't hold heat quite as well as BS glass! 

LAST in the GLASS category comes.... NORMAL GLASS! The pros to using glass from home improvement stores is quite simple. Convenience and price. You CAN print using normal glass, but remember you're sacrificing print quality with glass warping and scratches in the bed! This glass also was not designed for printing, so you may find some print adhesion issues arise as well!  

Next, comes another big choice:


Short for Polyetherimide, PEI is an excellent material. Flexible, durable, and relatively low-maintenance, also adored by many enthusiasts for is excellent adhesion properties! Durability for PEI beds comes in the form of flexibility. They can be very prone to hot end crashes. Leaving dimples in your print bed.  PEI beds sort of come in several forms. Let's chat about a few!

PEI Sheets can be layed over older beds of different materials to give you a fresh print surface for new prints! PEI sheets also bring you the durability and adhesiveness that comes with the material. 

PEI Spring Steel beds are arguably one of the best bed upgrades you can make in the print bed department. Similar to the buildtak beds that come with ender 3 pros, PEI Spring Steel beds bring Flexibility and Heat Endurance to the table. When finished printing, simply bending the bed will free most prints! Most brands of Spring Steel PEI beds also feature the ability to "Free Release" most prints by simply letting the bed cool down! Bed cools, prints pop straight off! Lastly, they typically come in SMOOTH and TEXTURED beds. Textured beds offer more adhesion, but do affect the texture of the print where it touches the bed surface! Smooth prints give the opposite. A nice smooth print finish with the sacrifice of adhesion after a time. 

NEXT we bring METAL to the table with:



Aluminum is a cool metal. Aluminum is a LIGHT metal. That's where it gets much of its fame as a print bed! Being as light as it is, it reduces much of the load on your z axis as it moves your bed around for each print! Aluminum is also one of the BEST conductors of heat of all the materials on this list! So you won't have to adjust your printing temps much to achieve your required heat for your material! With that, comes one of it's downfalls. Warping. Though you can find some aluminum beds that are textured, most come SMOOTH, which can bring some adhesion issues. Overall, still an excellent choice!


To wrap, these are just the most common print beds that we see floating around! For example, we didn't cover carbon fiber, mirrors, and some people go as far as 3d printing their own beds with various materials! SO get out there and upgrade! 


UPDATE: Sorry for the lack of posting this month! It's been a fun month that has dragged me all around the US and away from my computer! But just in case you haven't heard, we are trying to make a SALE in ALL 50 STATES. At the time of this blog, we are already at 35!! Check this out to see if your state has been pinned yet! If you're the first from your state, you get something FREE WITH YOUR ORDER! So go check it out! Thank you for this month, and I'll see you again SOON! 

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