PEI print bed surface experiments

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by 0110-m-p » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:23 am

Be critical all you like, it's the way everyone on here learns. I agree, that true measurements are always better, but they take time that I don't feel is necessary. Call it experience I guess, but I feel I have a pretty good idea of what a good first layer looks like and have figured out the "feel" of my machine. If my extrusion width is right, it's pretty easy to tell when it is too low or two high. I have had extremely good luck with glue stick (get virtual zero lifting on everything but parts with sharp corners) without any "elephant foot" over extrusion.

Also, you are correct about glue thickness variation and that I why I always re-zero'd after re-application. This is also why I worked really hard to figure out the best way to get as many prints as possible out of each application. I wasn't unhappy with glue stick, just wanted to try the "magic PEI build surface" that I keep reading about :).
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by mhackney » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:31 am

Great, I think you have it under control. You do develop a feel for this stuff, I just wanted to make sure you weren't jumping ahead before developing that.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Nylocke » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:38 pm

I was having a heck of a time getting the adhesive onto a 12x12 TAZ bed, went through 2 sheets. Its not as perfect as other people have done, but with the 24V PSU I'm running straight through my X3 Pro to the bed (works great, heats in just a couple minutes) I've had excellent adhesion, to the point of it being a little too good, at 90C. I haven't had this easy of a time printing on PEI ever, and it gives me a lot more confidence in large surface area prints. Paired with the geared stepper I'm using its super reliable so far.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Khalid Khattak » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:54 am

Sorry for my ignorance but will PEI work with ABS filament?

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by teoman » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:12 am

Yes
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Khalid Khattak » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:40 am

I checked its working out well.. so what thickness i should choose and any low-cost supplier available?

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by mhackney » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:51 am

You can read the beginning of this thread for US based PEI sources and best sizes - nothing has changed there. The very first post links to a summary thread with everything you need to know.

There are no bargains with PEI, it is one of the more expensive engineered polymers and that is not likely to change. It's good that sources like Amazon and McMaster even carry it in small 12"x12" sheets.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Khalid Khattak » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:36 am

mhackney wrote:It works great and is how I do it now exclusively.

Can you elaborate the process of installation of sheet with water/windex?

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Tincho85 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:56 am

Khalid Khattak wrote:
mhackney wrote:It works great and is how I do it now exclusively.

Can you elaborate the process of installation of sheet with water/windex?



Enjoy :)

doctorgonzo wrote:Hey guys,

I did something a little different when I installed my PEI sheet. I used a 12x12" piece of 468 tape, and I used the old sign maker's trick of floating it on Windex to aid installation.

So, the procedure went like this:

1: Prep the glass with windex, then acetone.
2: Spray windex on the glass and apply the 468 tape. It will be easy to slide around and get it centered on the glass. Use a squeegee to burnish the tape down, starting at the center and working your way out. Push as much windex out as you can. Work on a towel and press hard with the squeegee.
3: Wait an hour. Should be dry and stuck down by now. It just needs to be stuck down enough for you to remove the paper backing without peeling up the tape.
4: Prep the PEI with windex, then alcohol.
5: Spray windex on PEI then float it on to glass/tape. It will slide around pretty easily as long as you don't press down.
6: Use the squeegee and repeat the burnishing, pressing hard and working from the center toward the edges.
7: Cook the sandwich on the heated bed, 60C for half an hour worked for me.
8: Perform a final burnishing with the squeegee and you're done.

The finished result has no bubbles and it was easy to do. I got it on the first try.

I've printed several items at 90C and the tape is holding fine. It doesn't seem like the windex has any noticeable effect on the adhesive.

Chris
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Khalid Khattak » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:12 am

Thanks Martin... But it seems risky ;)

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by SEBRET » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:58 pm

Just want to chime in and say i got all the materials and have just finished installing. The bed is under 100 pounds of weight for a few hours now.

Just a note of interest. I had the same issue as others with the tape clumping to the backer, but after the first 1/4 of the roll it all but stopped and started to come up blemish free. So if you can afford to, you may just want to peel off a few yards and start there. I found that pulling back at an extreme angle mitigated most of the clumping as well.

as for laying down the PEI, this thread had me in fear of air bubbles but it really wasn't that bad at all. I simply placed one edge down and held the other edge up as i firmly pushed my fondant roller across it. since the protective film is slick i could rub the roller firmly without having to actually roll it, which made keeping consistent pressure easy. since the roller is as wide as the sheet i didn't have to move around and work each side. Just one strait swipe.

I'll update once i get a few prints on it.
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Qbert » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:30 pm

Please, I don't understand if PEI sheet can (or not) lay directly on aluminium heater plate.

EDIT: Ok, just for information, I'm currently printing on my PEI sheet directly stuck on aluminium plate. It looks working great!

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by mhackney » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:10 am

Yes, you can stick the PEI on anything you'd like. Actually, direct on aluminum would be much better from a thermal conduction perspective. HOWEVER, the issue is one of "flatness". It is really hard to beat the flatness of a piece of borosilicate glass for the price. Thin aluminum plate (1/8" or so) is not going to be anywhere near as flat. MIC-6 ground aluminum is pretty flat but the thinest you can get is 1/4" and that requires a LOT of energy to heat up. That said, I am experimenting with a MIC-6 / PEI covered plate on my Taz 4 printer now. Other than the long warm up time for the bed, it is doing great.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by KAS » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:28 am

I was getting inconstancy at various places of my bed, and those spots would move as I turned the glass. Decided to sand the Glass/PEI sheet on a granite slab with fairly rough sandpaper. I was surprised how uneven the PEI was. Not sure if it was the sheet itself or the 3M adhesive underneath. I can post a pic later tonight, just surprised how many high and low spots it had.
Last edited by KAS on Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by mhackney » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:46 am

Most likely the tape. I've measured the PEI on a large granite reference and height gauge and it was very consistent. None of the PEI installs I've done have had significant low or high spots. Is yours pressed down completely?

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by 0110-m-p » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:39 am

My first application proved to have one very high spot (bubble) that developed after a few prints. I think it was a bit of windex trapped under the PEI that collected to one spot as it was heated/cooled. I then removed the PEI completely and redid the whole thing...much better this time around.
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by KAS » Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:29 pm

mhackney wrote:Most likely the tape. I've measured the PEI on a large granite reference and height gauge and it was very consistent. None of the PEI installs I've done have had significant low or high spots. Is yours pressed down completely?



I would like to say it is, but you know how that goes. I'll heat it up again tonight and use a vinyl roller to press it down.
Chances are high that I'll have to re-sand the PEI, as I already leveled it before trying to press it again.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by bot » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:02 pm

This is why I only use the 1/8" thick sheets and only advise people to use that thickness. The thickness allows the sheet to be held down with only friction, with binder clips on the edges or the like. There is no need for adhesive, the sheet stays flat because of the clamps and the thickness of the sheet.
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by mhackney » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:06 pm

bot, my first sheet was 1/8" and expected it to behave as you described. I found that it did not lay flat and needed to be adhered. That's what led me down the path of trying silicone and other adhesives, ultimately ending up at the 3M tape (you can read all about these trials and tribulations in my PEI thread and build thread). I've installed .03" PEI on at least a dozen of my own and other's machines and I've had no problems with flatness, delimitation, etc on any of these. Perhaps the first sheet I receive had a natural bow in it from storage or manufacturing but it certainly did not lay flat.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by bot » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:52 am

The sheets I receive all have bows in them. I simply flatten them down to the glass with friction. On my Rostock max I use binder clips around the perimeter, on my new printer I designed custom clamps to hold all around the edges. Maybe using an octagon instead of a circle allows the sheet to more easily be clamped flat. I've been printing for over a thousand hours with the PEI sheet, and I am never looking back, nor would I ever consider adhering the sheet to anything. The beauty of the 1/8" is in not adhering it.
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Holy1 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:58 am

bot wrote: I designed custom clamps to hold all around the edges.


Did you want to share those clamps?
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by SEBRET » Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:15 pm

I'm back. Finally ran a handful of prints, and my reactions are mixed, but positive. For starters, I'll say i don't miss glue sticks at all. Never having to worry about bed prep is awesome and even somewhat lazy feeling at first, lol.

Adhesion was hit and miss at first, but i think i have it locked in now. The only problem i still have is long narrow items popping off. Things like the tips on stars and stuff. some of the larger ones i fixed by running a small brim.

One thing I've noticed is that despite the words of this thread, my best adhesion is from squishing the first layer. When i ran it true to thickness, it just would not stay. Also against this thread is that i haven't had any release issues after the bed is cooled. I can pick it up just like it was never attached, and most things can be pried off even when warm.

Long story short is that it's been slightly better than glue for me with the added benefit of no clean up.
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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by bot » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:27 pm

Holy1 wrote:
bot wrote: I designed custom clamps to hold all around the edges.


Did you want to share those clamps?



I just noticed your post now, sorry. I will definitely share the clamps, but they are for a very specific design, and are cut on a CNC router table, so I'm not sure how useful you will find them. I'll show you a picture. If you want them, let me know and I'll upload some cad files.

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Khalid Khattak » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:20 pm

I did two modifications to my heat bed:
1- Installation of PEI sheet
2- Replaced the 12VDC PCB heater with 220VAC Silicon Heater

I have purchased 80mmx200mm 3M 468MP double sided tape from Aliexpress. Worked very well. I am very happy with the first print i have done with PEI..absolutly amazing product.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/20-sheets-8x20cm-3M-468-468MP-200MP-Double-Adhesive-Sided-Transfer-Tape-For-Touch-Screen-Iphone/1390971435.html
The replacement of 12V PCB heater with 220VAC was also great. My heatbed is now heated within 10Sec upto 115C previously it took around 20minutes to heat upto 100C. Shortly i will share the video.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Dia-300mm-500W-220V-w-3M-PSA-NTC-100K-Thermistor-Keenovo-Round-Silicone-Heater-Pad-3D/2048426979.html

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Re: PEI print bed surface experiments

Post by Eaglezsoar » Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:56 pm

Khalid Khattak wrote:I did two modifications to my heat bed:
1- Installation of PEI sheet
2- Replaced the 12VDC PCB heater with 220VAC Silicon Heater

I have purchased 80mmx200mm 3M 468MP double sided tape from Aliexpress. Worked very well. I am very happy with the first print i have done with PEI..absolutly amazing product.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/20-sheets-8x20cm-3M-468-468MP-200MP-Double-Adhesive-Sided-Transfer-Tape-For-Touch-Screen-Iphone/1390971435.html
The replacement of 12V PCB heater with 220VAC was also great. My heatbed is now heated within 10Sec upto 115C previously it took around 20minutes to heat upto 100C. Shortly i will share the video.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Dia-300mm-500W-220V-w-3M-PSA-NTC-100K-Thermistor-Keenovo-Round-Silicone-Heater-Pad-3D/2048426979.html



That 220VAC heatpad looks fantastic for heating the bed rapidly and shortly I will be searching that site for a 110VAC version.
Thanks for the link to find this type of product.

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