Last blog post I mentioned rookie mistakes I've made. Today, I'm going to explain how they were overcome. I felt it would be easier explained in video, so watch the clip above.

Quick Summary

Sometimes watching a video is helpful, and other times all you want are the key points. So here's a quick summary of the essentials...

The Problems

Two challenges experienced with FDM 3D Printers are:

  1. Getting the object to stick to the build plate during printing; failure can result in warping or even complete print failure
  2. Removing the object once it's finished

I read all sorts of differing advice on the internet. After some experimentation, I found that it's actually easier than a lot of the advise I was reading (at least for PLA and PET plastics).

The Solutions

  1. Raise the build plate temperature. About 10⁰C (18⁰F) above recommended values worked for me, although larger parts needed a brim (a thin outline drawn around the bottom). Here are my settings (in Simplify 3D):
    • 1st layer height: 90% (squishes down the first layer to make it stick)
    • Build plate temperature: 70⁰C (158⁰F) for PLA & 80⁰C (176⁰F) for PET
  2. Simply wait for the build plate to cool down to below about 30⁰C (86⁰F), and the part comes off the build plate easily (assuming there' a place you can grab hold of it securely)

NOTE: You'll have to experiment with your printer, because different printers have different characteristics and calibrations (e.g., the temperature sensors may not be calibrated properly). Also, I've only tested this with PLA & PET. It might not work with other plastic types.