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Miracle Print Adhesion Improver

by phineasjw, published

Miracle Print Adhesion Improver by phineasjw Aug 18, 2012

Featured Thing!


Not just for beehive hairdos and potato cannons anymore - AQUANET Extra Super Hold hair spray may just be what you have been looking for to improve your 3D printer's first layer adhesion.

I made huge improvements with my leveling procedure ( thingiverse.com/thing:23257 ). Still, over time, even when my Kapton tape looked good and the build plate was level, parts would not stick.

Putting on fresh Kapton tape was the only thing that fixed this particular problem but it is a pain to do, the tape is expensive and I am cheap and lazy.

As luck would have it, I just happened to have a can of this hairspray laying around from a potato cannon project and thought "What the heck?". It does say "Super strong hold" on the can so I gave it a try. Like that first meeting of chocolate and peanut butter I had my "Eureka" moment.

I have not tried with large prints yet, but I did do an entire week of building miscellaneous small to medium sized parts with only one build plate level and perfectly bonded parts. There was no edge lifting even on parts that had a first layer chamfer!

It has to be good it has the word Miracle in the title!

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It really does work!

Has anyone noticed that different colors of ABS require different heat settings on heat bed and extruder? White needs more heat for me.


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WARNING! Make sure the build plate is cool! Keep away from sparks and flames and all that! This stuff is flammable - think James Bond!

- Make sure your build plate is level first.
-- That is the biggest issue with the Replicator IMHO.
-- thingiverse.com/thing:23257

- Go to the Dollar Tree and pick up a can (unless your wife's name is Flo and she works in a diner - then just use hers!) Also available on Amazon - amazon.com/Aqua-Net-Professional-Spray-Extra/dp/B001VFT0VS/ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp

- Use some kind of a mask to keep from gumming up your rails and bearings and such.
-- I have included files to make a cardboard mask.

- Spray a light mist over build plate
-- A little goes a long way
-- A week later and I am still using my first spray's worth

NOTE: The hairspray has lots of multisyllabic chemical names on the ingredient list. I make no claims as to its safety.

UPDATE: I tried White Rain Extra Hold and it doesn't work well. The ingredients are almost the same but it doesn't have the VA/Crotonates/Vinyl or the Neodecanoate Copolymer. Must be what makes the Aquanet work?!


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qubist on Mar 4, 2014 said:

It really does work!

Node7Elec on Oct 12, 2013 said:


Denshine on Oct 8, 2013 said:

for swedish residents, Proffs hair spray works fine.
but if you have a glas/metal bed i would recomend abs juice (abs plastic and acetone) works great with pla prints to.

cymon on Aug 22, 2013 said:

Okay, I just figured out that you need to let the print cool before removing it or you'll remove the hair spray.

MovieGuy021083 on Aug 16, 2013 said:

Thank you sooo much I have been having such trouble no matter I do but this worked the first time I was just watching my printer with my mouth open in astonishment.

Steve0 on Jun 22, 2013 said:

If you're in the EU looking for a hairspray with the same ingredient as Aquanet, try L'oreal Elnett. Its unbelievable how good the adhesion is!

Lux_Linutz on Jun 13, 2013 said:

for Germans: first i have used a random haarspray i found in the bathroom "Pantene Style" blahblah "Laque Secret Style" and it turned out doing its job but now ive tryed "taft POWER Haarlack Mega Stark 5" and have created my first big building with it. worked nice. it has Vinyl Caprolactam/VP/Dimethylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolimer in it. thanks for the tipp.

it turned out, the best results i have, when the Spray is liquid. not totaly but not dryed eather. it stands like a 1 and pops from the glas easyly afterwards.

Cyberwizzard on May 20, 2013 said:

Works like a charm.

For the Dutch: go buy the "Haar Spray Ultra Strong (4)" from the AH in a spray bottle (blue).

Tthe magic component might very well be vinyl as thats what is in there.

fnorkn on Jul 6, 2013 said:

Bedankt voor de tip!

phineasjw on Mar 9, 2013 said:

Pair this with this red polyester tape http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... (instead of Kapton). I have be using the same red tape for 3 weeks now with hundreds of small to medium sized parts and still going. Just put my first small nick in the tape yesterday. This stuff is tough!

Zaibach on Feb 24, 2013 said:

Well this was certainly good advice.

I ended up switching from the Kapton (I just left it on the bed) to hairspray (Unscented Aqua Net) applied to a pane of borosilicate held in place with binder clips.

Went from having to start a print two or three times because I couldn't get it to stick to the Kapton. Usually if it got to the third layer without warping or coming off I was good to walk away. To having prints adhering the first time every time.

The down side is that prints actually fight me when I'm trying to take them off. At the end of the day I would much rather a print put up a little fight when I try to take it off than have it pop off the bed mid print. Plus with multiple borosilicate panes I can swap them out and deal with the first while the second is being printed to.

MrTundraMan on Jan 9, 2013 said:

Worked great with my borosilicate glass bed in MendelMax. Thanks you for solving a problem that has been very frustrating to me.

ntc490 on Jan 2, 2013 said:

I tried AquaNet hairspray on my UP! printer for ABS prints and it isn't working very well. ABS won't stick at all to the HBP w/o spray. With spray it does stick, but not enough to stop curling on medium parts. I get better results with proto board. Adding the spray to proto board didn't seem to help it much. Would try blue tape, but the tape peels off my HBP at higher temps. Maybe my HBP is just too slick.

Dogbert on Dec 21, 2012 said:

Long Live Hairspray!!!
Hairspray on the blue painters tape works fantastic! :-)
Having it on the tape makes for easy cleanup as well!
On the UP! even on big prints it has almost completely stopped all warping.
Awesome find! :-)

adamsbriand on Nov 14, 2012 said:

Wow!  After a fresh spraying, I sometimes need to use pliers to remove a part.  Great effect on my prints.

MacGyver on Nov 14, 2012 said:

I've been using a Cricut spatula to work my way under prints without damaging them.  I think it cost me less than $5.  I sharpened the end just to make it taper down a little and it works like a charm.

Rasle500 on Oct 28, 2012 said:

What a great idea!!

This works way better than the PVA solution for me (big parts stick to well and the glass plate kind of delaminate when I try to remove it).

I heat the bed to 50C, I only print with PLA.
As soon the bed temp reach 40C I can pop the part off.

Warning: Don't make my mistake and buy the hair spray with parfume in it, it smells horrible every time you heat the bed :/

Thank You


Weedz on Nov 15, 2012 said:

yes it works very good.....!
Tnx for this ideaa GRT!

Rodrigopw on Oct 7, 2012 said:

I've tested this in a Leapfrog Creatr bed at 100 degrees and works fine..SO FINE...I CANNOT REMOVE THE THINGS !!! I've used another brand...mine its called ROBY, but is a normal hairspray. I applied once and after printing like 4 retro rockets, one big buddha and 2 bethovens IM HOPING sometime looses a little of its adhesion power! This one is TOO MUCH!

MacGyver on Oct 1, 2012 said:

I had some Suave Max Hold unscented hair spray and took my kapton tape off my HBP so only the aluminum build plate was left.  This stuff is a freaking miracle it gets sticky when hot to hold the plastic and when cool the parts pop right off.  

I made a video showing the ease of removing parts from a cooled platform.

MacGyver on Oct 14, 2012 said:

Update I've upgraded to Suave Extreme Hold 10 it seems to work even better.  I've been able to lower my HBP temp to 100c too.

roboto on Sep 22, 2012 said:

Try some adhesive spray. 

Bellorophon on Sep 17, 2012 said:

Aqua Net specifically has been applied to counterfeit U.S C notes to defeat the yellow verification pen.

s_p_e_x on Sep 14, 2012 said:

For anyone who doesn't have hairspray lying around...

I have had decent luck with fairly dillute simple syrup (table sugar and water).

Put about a teaspoon into a table spoon of water (maybe two) and dissolve, then dip a corner of a paper towel in the solution and lightly dampen the print surface.

Let dry before printing. You should notice the surf
ace is now sligtly tacky. Adjust to taste, YMMV.

Anonymous on Sep 13, 2012 said:

I have tried this but in my 5 day, 23 hour daily printing schedule with two replicators and a evolution. I wipe my plates down once a week on monday and use a 10% ABS raft scraps and 90% acetone mix which is slightly coloured ,

I wipe on my platforms at about 60 degrees C and then apply one light coat using a cotton bud , you can see the slight colour residue. daily printing whole bed surface and I only get failures like bubbles in the first layer on the print bed where fingers have accidentally touched the plate .

Over 7 kg printed without one lifting print !!!!

Awesome stuff , EVERYONE should know this !! spread the word !

I ue a hair dryer on the non heated bed so the acetone doesnt penetrate into the Kapton tape, (as seen under microscope)

I also use watered down PVA wood glue for PLA bed prep.

ultimac on Sep 6, 2012 said:

No! Really... Its for my 3D printer....

slip on Sep 5, 2012 said:

I raided the bathroom for something and found my girlfriend's hair spray... turns out I picked up "the expensive one"... whoops!

It looks to be doing a great job though. I've had a lot of trouble with one of my printers and the prints not sticking to he glass heat bed. I tried various cleaning and the bed was super level but the prints would just peel up after a while. I tried turning the heat up with the same, yet delayed,

The spray works really well! Thanks!

bifi5590 on Sep 3, 2012 said:

No Aquanet here in Germany but Taft Power fixed my problems.

Thanks for this idea :)

olekdh on Sep 1, 2012 said:

it's working!!! I used normal hairspray, and it's working perfect. this idea is no brainer when you have problem with adhesion on hotbed

TechnoBill on Aug 28, 2012 said:

Love it. I just bought a standard off the shelf strong hold hairspray. One coat 2 days ago on glass and I have printed about 10 PLA prints and nothing has come loose yet. Excellent

Unfortunately its scented so my print room has lost that manly 3d print room odour :-(

tbuser on Aug 28, 2012 said:

What temp are you setting your platform to with glass and hairspray?

theroar on Aug 24, 2012 said:

It took me 20 minutes of wandering the hair care aisles in Walmart to find it! The other products were so flamboyant the Aqua-net was almost invisible. =) Trying my first print right now.

beowulfkaine on Aug 21, 2012 said:

This really does work amazing! Used on a heated pad on makerbot at 110c, works excellent on prints!

benmcnelly on Aug 20, 2012 said:

I have a thing-o-matic, so YMMV but I use some clear nail polish (thanks wife!) when printing abs, and pla seems to work on the tape like it should.

Jimmern on Aug 20, 2012 said:

Since I started wiping down my HPB on my Thing-O-Matic with rubbing alcohol and cranked the build platform temperature to 110 instead of 100 I have had no problems with parts warping or coming loose when printing with ABS. Those 10 degrees make a huge difference for me.

phineasjw on Aug 20, 2012 said:

I am already running at 110C. Definitely made a big improvement - just seems to take forever to get those extra 10 degrees!

The hairspray lets me extend the life of the Kapton. At some point, even with 110C, even after cleaning with solvent, the Kapton just won't hold the parts. A quick shot of hairspray and I'm back in business.

LeftAngle on Aug 20, 2012 said:

Tried this and it seems to work. The break away force required is less than PVA glue and WAY less than slurry. I was able to snap the part off without having to use tools, which usually tear holes in the Kapton tape.

I'll experiment with a larger part. If it works, I'll retire the glue.

emmett on Aug 19, 2012 said:

Are you printing with ABS or PLA? I've never had trouble with ABS sticking to kapton, so long as I wipe it down with alcohol and heat to 100C. However, I've had exactly the experience you describe with PLA. It works pretty well on Kapton at 55C, but eventually even cleaning it with acetone doesn't work anymore and the Kapton has to be replaced to get anything to stick well. Of course it sticks like crazy to blue tape, but then you destroy the tape on every print, which is a real pain. I'm curious if this hairspray thing will work with PLA. I guess there's one way to find out...

MovieGuy021083 on Aug 16, 2013 said:

It works great I'm using painters tape and hair spray and my PLA never comes up

futurejames on Aug 21, 2012 said:

Looking forward to hearing the results of your experimentation!

UechiMike on Aug 19, 2012 said:

Hmm..heep it in mind - although I have never had a problem with adhesion. I print in ABS - but I do crank my platform up to 120. - No issues w/ warping ot having parts pop off..in fact if I don't let the platform cool to 60-70 it's nearly impossible to pull the parts off.

Just be careful with that stuff - as you know from the potato cannons it's highly flammable 8-)

tanis on Aug 19, 2012 said:

Hairspray is magic! Try to print on Depron / Styrofoam with an Ink-Jet printer and you wil fail... prepare the sstyrofoam with strong hairspray and it wil work!

As soon as my 3D-printer is finished, i will try it!


--- Lars ---

whosawhatsis on Aug 19, 2012 said:

Have you tried just cleaning the platform with acetone (or even rubbing alcohol)? My guess is that the solvent in the hairspray has more to do with the improved platform adhesion than whatever adhesives are in the hairspray, and the adhesives and perfumes and whatnot in the hairspray are likely to build up and make the thing dirty and hurt print adhesion in the long run.

SimCity on Aug 19, 2012 said:

I just use really watered down PVA glue (RichRap and someone else gave me the idea but can't remember who). It's alot cheaper than haispray and you can use a paint brush to put it on and control where it goes. Plus as it is watered down it will self level that last little bit that you can never get just right. The heated bed will evaporate and dry the PVA very quickly.

phineasjw on Aug 19, 2012 said:

Yes, I have done the cleaning thing - Acetone, Ethenol, Isoporopyl etc.. My guess is something changes on the surface of the Kapton over time. In the past the only thing that "fixed" this particular problem was replacing the Kapton.

Any build up of hairspray can be cleaned with the above mentioned solvents.

Iamstu on Aug 19, 2012 said:

Brilliant idea.

uphiearl on Oct 17, 2013 said:

Has anyone noticed that different colors of ABS require different heat settings on heat bed and extruder? White needs more heat for me.

deeeep on Aug 18, 2012 said:

Can you use it with heating the build platform?

MacGyver on Oct 1, 2012 said:

It should applied to the platform before heating.  Hairspray is highly flammable until it is dry according the label on the can I'm using.

phineasjw on Aug 19, 2012 said:

Yes, I heat the build platform after the spray has dried. The flammability is in the solvents and propellants. Those evaporate leaving behind whatever makes hairspray hold your hair (plastics I assume).

scoofy on Aug 19, 2012 said:

That looks like a repilcator, so my guess is yes, but yea, i'm a little worried about that too!