Are you frustrated with the hassle of removing your perfect 3D print safely? Don’t ruin it with your haphazard removal tricks, use one of our easy hacks to remove it safely and cleanly.
For the safe removal of a 3D print, you’ll have to take some precautionary measures before executing the actual printing process. These measures include the selection of reliable Print boards such as glass sheets or carbon plates the adjustments of z-index somewhere at 70% or 80% height from the printing bed. Secondly, there are some Pro tips to take it off when it is printed fully. These numerous post-printing pro-tips require some tools like sharp blades, cooling down the surface temperature, peelable layer over the print board, etc. to get you picture-perfect results for your 3D print.
The other day I came up with the great printing idea, planned its full execution, adjusted the right mechanical settings, and voila! It was just as I wanted it to be. But wait! In my attempts to take it off, I lost its shape, beauty, and everything I struggled for. From that day I researched for several safe solutions, tried them on my prints, and guess what these tested and tried hacks work in every case.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into the details of these hacks.
How to remove 3Dprints safely and cleanly from the board?
Generally, light pressure in pulling the printed part works and gets your part separated from the printing bed. However, the printing can be sometimes very adhesive, especially in the case of PETG that doesn’t get rid of the build platform easily. Due to their extreme stickiness, not only it is hard to remove them but also it is dangerous. This is because if the print is lightweight and has a lot of details then it has the potential to easily broken down or be damaged if removed through a hard pulling force. The abrupt jerk in the pulling moment is a ‘make’ or ‘break’ situation. Here we’ll tell you how to rightly pull it so that you don’t lose control over the integrity of the part.
Furthermore, if the force doesn’t remove your part from the build plate then here are some tested solutions that include application of warm water, gradual intrusion of sharp-ended blades or spatula, a solvent spray, flexible printing beds, scrapping techniques, and much more.
Although these are all solutions when you have your part printed perfectly, and now waiting for the removal, yet there are some hacks that are considered before you execute the printing process. These precautionary measures deal with mechanical adjustments to the printing board types and all that affects the adhesion of the part with the printing board.
Pre Printing hacks
1. Set the right distance from the nozzle and print bed (z-index)
This is the most crucial step during your printing process that decides what amount of pressure should be applied over the part’s first layer for keeping the print intact and stick to the build-plate. The shorter the distance between the nozzle and the print bed, the stickier will be the print with the board.
This distance can be controlled through the z-index of the mechanical settings which can be minimized or maximized as per the requirement of the desired print.
One thing that is necessary to understand here, that while adjusting the nozzle you should not adjust it too far from the plate so that the first layer of print would not be able to stick with the base which can lead to a resultant end product that doesn’t have a solid structure. Therefore, we recommend you to pause after the first layer of your print on the build platform. Then adjust the nozzle at about 70 to 80 percent above this printed first layer. Usually, this amount of distance gives the right amount of pressure over the first layer to make the product solid in structure without making it too sticky with the plate.
2. Use the reliable Print bed
The print beds are used for the two objectives, first is to give a smooth surface for printing product, and the second is to allow the filament of the print to get stick to it for building up the structure of the part. For these objectives, there is a vast variety of print boards available in the market including Anycubic Ultrabase, Glass sheets, carbon plates, Aluminum plates, Flexible plates, and many others.
Among all these printing beds, you must go for the ones that provide good enough but temporary adhesion for the first layer of the print. Such print surfaces include Glass sheet carbon plates and flexible print boards. The glass and Carbon sheets are best as they don’t get scratches after printing and print material also leaves the surface easily. Moreover, flexible plates can be twisted and molded in a different direction to get rid of the 3d print.
Post Printing hacks
1. Allow the print to cool down
The most used printing materials include plastic or resins other than metal, carbon fiber, and paper, which provide relaxed detachment from the printing bed when cooled down properly. All you have to do is to wait after finishing the printing process and allow your print to come at room temperature.
At room temperature, especially plastic parts undergo enough contraction that helps them to leave the surface automatically, while you barely need to touch it.
Like plastics, all materials undertake more or less contraction when cooled down at room temperature that results in minimal changes in shape or size of the part that is not so visible and observable. Such minor contractions in print materials allow them to pop off from the printing surface on their own that is especially true with the case of PLA materials.
2. Removal with a little hard hand
This tip though sounds pretty much traditional but is the most tricky and technical in nature and helps in most cases. You can pull the 3d-print with a little hard hand but here is a catch! Don’t do it abruptly. Use one hand to strongly hold the part and the other to press the printing surface in the opposite direction. All this should be done smoothly and gradually while you must feel the strength in the bond of the print with the surface.
Also, stay vigilant and keep hearing any sounds of part breakage due to the pressure. Leave the product when the part is unable to withstand the opposite forces you’re applying.
This option is recommended until you have to do it with a little brute force that your printing material and printing surface can bear throughout the removal process.
3. Removal with a flat and sharp blade
One of the popular methods to lift off your part is to use thin, flat, and sharp blades or spatulas between the first layer of the part and the printing surface. These kinds of blades are most commonly available in every home, for instance, tools like paint scrappers, screwdrivers with a flathead.
All you have to do is, scratch smoothly between the two objects to break the bond between the two surfaces. Continue to push the blade back and forth in between the surfaces until you get the part detached at one side. Then rotate the model and keep scratching till the ends of the entire print leave the print board. After that hold the product firmly and push that spatula in to break the sticky bond in the middle of the product. In this way you get your entire part separated in a gradual but safe procedure that is not risky for your print. However, be careful in scratching as you should not produce scratches on your printing surface or print model itself or in an unfortunate case, cut your hands while scratching hard.
4. Bringing down the temperature of the print
As we already talked about how contraction in printing materials at cool temperatures helps to lift off the 3d-print, therefore it will be easy for you to understand this hack. There are times when the room temperature is not enough to allow the right amount of contraction in print material which can keep the part stuck with the bed. Therefore, we ask you to create a greater temperature difference on the spots of strong adhesive bondage.
For that, you should get some ice cubes and place them around the 3d-print to induce greater contraction in the material. And in other cases, you can place the entire print plate in the freezer or in another air-conditioned space where it gets properly cooled down. Just in case if the part stays stuck there, then get along with another useful hack down below that can create contraction.
5. Bring it under the Running water
While the part is getting cooled at room temperature and is strongly committed to the printing bed, don’t wait and simply bring the bonded objects under the null or freshwater. Firstly, run it under the steady flow of lukewarm water that helps in removing any previously used adhesives and glues from the print surfaces, which does half of the job and sometimes is enough for detachment of the print.
And if it stays there fully or partially, then on second preference, you should run it under the steady flow of cold water to induce contraction in print material. This method is pretty much effective in the safe and clean removal of a 3d-print.
6. Removal with the help of Raft
Another super exciting hack lies in your 3D slicer in which you can enable the raft to build a layer between the print model and the printing bed. This additional layer can easily be disposed of later, which gives you liberty from the great hassle of removing the print.
However, the disadvantage of this idea lies in the fact that you would have to compromise with the greater use of printing filament and with exceeding printing time limits.
7. Additional layer over Printing board
Though enabling rafts can be a tough decision for you due to the expense you’d have to bear with it yet the idea of an additional layer is super helpful to get your 3D print detached from the surface safely without frustrating struggle.
You can use peelable tapes on the printing boards which you can get rid of after printing. And other options include PEI sheets that can be peeled off easily, and glue sticks, etc. to minimize the risk of stubborn adhesion.
8. Flossing in between the print model and the print board
Just like tooth flossing pops off sticky extras in between teeth, flossing through metal wires can help you get rid of the stick bond between the part and the board. For this purpose, you would need sharp wires like those of copper and other metals to floss back and forth between the two surfaces.
9. Removal with Solvent Spray
This is the all-time favorite hack if you’re done with all of the above safe hacks. The solvent sprays include a mixture of water and alcohol that helps to mitigate the stickiness of the adhesives used in the process of printing. Here’s a tutorial that shows the magic of solvent sprays.
You can use the mist of this solvent over parts and the printing surface after the printing process. Isopropyl alcohol and acetone are the best options to make your solvent spray. However, there’s a warning with this kind of option as it can damage the 3d-print surface specially composed of plastic materials and other PEI sheets used on print surfaces.
10. Removal with scrapers
At this point, if you are still struggling with that sticky part then it is better to compromise the surface area of the print bed and scrap the part’s edges off from it. You can use mild scrapers to avoid harsh damages to the bed and the model.
All in all, these 10 easy hacks can help you get your 3D print detached from the printing board with the help of several tools and instruments. The tools like screwdrivers, paint scrapers, painting tapes, PEI peelable sheets can be found at any online or offline marketplace. Furthermore, once you try all of the above hacks, try tapping techniques over your print model with the help of screwdrivers for its detachment.