Page 1 of 1

New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:07 pm
by JohnStack
Hi!

Over the last two weeks, I've been testing a new product called BuildTak. (MHackney turned me on to it; however, he hasn't had time to test it. Business is that good for a good guy like that!)

Their site is here:

http://www.buildtak.com/

Essentially, the sticky-backed plastic material is not PEI but more or less similar to the materials you might have with plastic folders. A little matte. You don't need hairspray, glue, or any other material, simply calibrate to one-sheet of paper on your surface and print.

Performance:

ABS sticks like glue. In fact, you have to be careful that you can pull the print. They're printing with 120C bed temps. I have used 90C and it sticks - like glue. Very calibration dependent.

Removal - they don't recommend a flat razor but I had to use it - it stuck too well. Keep your bed heated while removing. If you do cool, turn up the heat and then remove.

PLA - no heat required but you do need to get your nozzle right down to the surface. As good as it sticks - is as good as it will be loose. In other words, if you don't get close enough to the bed, it won't stick.

Price: Decent, I've gotten about 30 prints on an uncooled bed with PLA. They claim more than 50 and I believe them. A 10 x 10 sheet is about $10.

Personal Opinion:

Due to how well it sticks with ABS, I won't use it on my Rostock. I have used it over and over again on my Robo3D - with PLA.

Their support is very responsive and they want to succeed. I hope their price point drops a bit - but it's worth $0.50 a print if I don't have to use aquanet in my office.

There you go! Let me know if you have any questions!

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:05 pm
by bdjohns1
Interesting idea. 1 piece is $10 cheaper than the 3mm PEI sheet I'm using, but I'm over 50 prints into my PEI and the only wear is where I damaged it.

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:59 am
by bvandiepenbos
Interesting but to expensive!
10" x 10" piece is $14.80 plus shipping.
not "about $10.00" like you said John.

PEI or window tint is a better option in my opinion.

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 1:17 am
by JohnStack
I wouldn't buy a single. I bought a 10-pack for $128. Shipping was expensive.

This stuff isn't cheap - but you know - what do you value?

My BuildTak review

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 8:00 am
by mhackney
As John said, I learned about BuildTak at the NYC 3D printing show a few weeks ago. I was very impressed with the surface finish it leaves on the parts. It has a little bit of texture that is quite nice looking. I chatted with the VP of the company, showed him one of my 3D printed fishing reels, and he sent me a 12" disk to test. I had to order a 2nd borosilicate plate to put this on since I have PEI on my original plate and I don't want both sides covered for thermal conductivity reasons. I've been testing the BuildTak as much as I can between production runs. I'ver probably printed 60 parts in PLA and 20 in ABS. My experience has been very positive.

Firstly, BuildTak's web site says the material CAN WITHSTAND high temps (110-125°C) but I don't print anywhere near that temp. I could imagine that aggressive sticking would happen at these temps. I've been printing PLA at 55°C and ABS at 75°C. The parts stick very well and they pop off with a very pleasing "pop" when they come off. (My hot bed temps are calibrated with a thermocouple so are reasonably accurate.) I had no problems with first layer pealing or curling and my "open weave" tenkara line spools are very good tests for this since they have many small radius corners (like a flower petal) AND they have very low first layer contact surface due to the open infill. When one of these stick to a build surface, I know it's a good one! You do have to make sure your Z=0 is set properly as it is more difficult to remove highly smooshed first layer parts from this surface, probably due, at least in part, to the surface texture.

photo 3.JPG


I also printed this very tricky mesostructured cellular material to get stuck with no problems:

photo 2 10.46.08 AM.JPG


These are both difficult parts to get stuck on any build surface and the BuildTak had no problems with first layer lift or curling. And all parts (well, actually 40 pieces of the line holders since they are printed in 2 halves at the same time) came off with a reassuring and crisp "pop". I do clean the surface with isopropyl alcohol wipes between prints to remove any finger grease, etc. NEVER use acetone on this material, it will ruin it.

I see no signs of wear after 80 prints in the same central area. But, I did not have to use any tools to remove the parts so there was no damage to the surface. I don't see why I couldn't print 100s of parts on a sheet. I like the stuff and now that I have it mounted on a glass plate it is ready to go whenever I need it. I still use PEI for most of my parts since it leaves a nice matte surface finish but for parts that I want a little texture, like some of my fly fishing reel parts, I'll use the BuildTak.

One note, I totally bungled applying the first sheet they sent me. I wasn't thinking ahead and got some bubbles in it. I emailed the company asking to purchase a sheet since it was my doing but they sent me the second sheet to evaluate too. They are now offering 12" round BuildTak sheets on their web site for Rostock printers (V1 and V2). The secret to applying this is to start at one edge of the disk and expose about 1" of the sticky backing by pealing back the protective paper - DON'T pull it off all at once like I did the first time! Peal a little, stick and then peal a little while smoothing down with an old credit card.

Cheers,
Michael

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:25 pm
by archer6817j
I'm pretty new to this, but I've been printing quite a bit over the last couple weeks. I came across build-tak and this thread during my research before the machine arrived. I ordered a sheet and didn't even try printing directly on the glass. Based on the stories and endless methods of getting a print to stick...this stuff is magic with PLA. I have not tried ABS yet. My first few prints were over-sticking. I think because the nozzle was a little too close. Once I got that dialed in the parts stick perfectly and you can easily pop them off by hand.

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:41 pm
by Kevinvandeusen
Talked to the buildtak guys at makerfaire yesterday, they recommended lower than avg abs temps, and slightly less squish of the extrusion than we are used too because of the inherent properties of the secret plastic sticker!

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:56 pm
by critical_limit
They don´t send outside USA :-(

Anybody here who would send me one of the 12" dia for the Rostock Max?

Thanx
Dirk

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:32 am
by critical_limit
critical_limit wrote:They don´t send outside USA :-(

Anybody here who would send me one of the 12" dia for the Rostock Max?

Thanx
Dirk


Amazon have them all ;-)

Shipping is expensive, but it´s on the way......

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:55 pm
by pkhzor
This stuff is amazing, both PLA and ABS stick to it perfectly. Using the metal spatula to remove prints makes the most satisfying sound. You can keep reusing it for a lot of prints too.

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:02 pm
by jdurand
I'm using it on my Afinia for PLA, works great. Haven't tried with ABS but never had a problem getting that to stick to the glass.

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:45 pm
by JohnnyDude
Thanks to the feedback here, I'm convinced. I ordered this from Amazon just now. I found the price very reasonable. I got a pack of three for $54 USD and free shipping! On top of that, it's two day shipping, so I'll be able to try it this week!

I suffer with ABS warping daily. I've been using glue stick as the rostock v2 manual describes, but I've been seriously underwhelmed with it. My old Prusa printer was using kapton tape, which worked great but the scratches and bubbles induced constant maintenance. mhackney has a lot of elaborate detail on build platforms which have given me the confidence with the purchase!

If this goes well, I may be able to outfit my old prusa printer with some of my leftover buildtak!

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:15 pm
by mhackney
All build surfaces are a compromise. But first layer and part adhesion shouldn't be one of them! BuildTak, PRINTinZ and PEI all have excellent "stick", the compromise is primarily around surface finish for the first layer. On many of my designs, that first layer is highly visible. a textured surface like BuildTak and PRINTinZ adds a design element that might be desirable depending on what aesthetic you're after. PEI is perfectly smooth and either matte or glossy. So, equipped with all of these I can get the surface finish I want! I have two borosilicate plates, one has glossy side up PEI and the other side has mattes side up PEI, the other plate has BuildTak and PRINTinZ. I can flip or sap and get what I want after a quick re-Z height calibration.

You'll like the BuildTak stick.

cheers,
Michael

Re: New Print Surface - Buildtak

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:29 pm
by pkhzor
JohnnyDude wrote:Thanks to the feedback here, I'm convinced. I ordered this from Amazon just now. I found the price very reasonable. I got a pack of three for $54 USD and free shipping! On top of that, it's two day shipping, so I'll be able to try it this week!

I suffer with ABS warping daily. I've been using glue stick as the rostock v2 manual describes, but I've been seriously underwhelmed with it. My old Prusa printer was using kapton tape, which worked great but the scratches and bubbles induced constant maintenance. mhackney has a lot of elaborate detail on build platforms which have given me the confidence with the purchase!

If this goes well, I may be able to outfit my old prusa printer with some of my leftover buildtak!

Just don't make the first layer too thin or else you will never be able to get it off the surface. The object might come off but if you print with a brim then that probably wont. I had to scrape off some of it and the surface was still usable albeit ugly looking. Didn't affect surface quality due to buildtak being harder than ABS/PLA so it didn't scrape much at all.