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Print Beds

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All you need to know about print beds on FDM 3D printers

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The print bed, which is sometimes referred to as the build plate, is an important factor in creating a successful 3D print. They can be heated or not, perforated or smooth, require tape or a layer of glue but what does this all mean.

If you have the budget it is great to have a 3D printer with a heated bed, this helps to keep the print firmly stuck down to the bed. It is particularly necessary if you are going to be printing with ABS filament which is particularly prone to warping. Non heated print beds usually require you to use blue tape, this tape needs to be replaced quite often as it is prone to tearing up when remove prints. If you have a 3D printer with a non heated bed you will most likely be restricted to printing with PLA filament which is less prone to warping than other type of filaments.

Perforated plates can be particularly good for adhesion as the filament that is laid down to build the raft fills the holes in the plate and ‘anchors’ the print down. The heated perforated plate on the Zortrax M200 is particularly good as this and copes with ABS filament very well.

The glass heated bed on the Ultimaker 2 is great for printing with PLA filament. It is recommended that you put a thin layer of glue stick down on the glass to help that first layer stick down then the heat of the bed will keep the print firmly stuck to the print bed.

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