Rigid Polyester Tape for Replicator Heated Bed

by phineasjw, published

Rigid Polyester Tape for Replicator Heated Bed by phineasjw Feb 17, 2013
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I have started experimenting with using this Polyester tape Updated LInk 08/25/2014: http://www.laserbits.com/laser-supplies/masking-materials/sus-063-polyester-rigid-mask-medium-tack-6-in-25-yds.html for my Replicator 1 heated bed based on threads I saw on printer forums. I prefer it over the Kapton because

  • It is much more resistant to tearing when removing parts after build, and when getting off the roll
  • 6" width can cover heated bed in 1 strip
  • Similar price when you compare square inches per roll
  • Good adhesion when combined with the miracle adhesion improver (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:28787)
  • Easier to remove than stock Kapton
    I am printing small to medium sized parts in ABS with a bed temp of 50C and acceptable adhesion. This greatly reduces melt deformation of the features directly on the bed layer.
    For small parts with little bed contact on the first layer, I add a 0.25mm thick base in CAD to increase the contact surface area of the first layer for better bonding. This print base is fairly easily peeled off the part after printing.


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The link in the main write-up doesn't work any longer. Anybody have a link to what they use? Google for rigid polyester tape turned up a ton of things obviously not appropriate to this application.

Been using this stuff for about 6 months now and I really can't say enough about it's performance. I switched to a glass build plate and tried printing on it without the tape. Worked ok but had to heat the plate to 120 C (10 more degrees than with the tape) to get abs to stick. Aqua Net on glass at that temp works well but it can easily stick so much you pull up chunks of your new expensive borosilicate glass build plate. Also I have to reapply the hairspray after every print.

Putting this stuff on my glass build plate makes plastic stick much easier (at a lower temp), makes the hairspray last longer, and protects the glass from getting damaged. As everyone else has said it's also really tough stuff not anything like the flimsy Kapton tape. Everyone should know about this stuff.

I should also add that with this tape/hairspray combo I can print PLA on a cold plate. If I use just bare glass and hairspray, I have to heat the plate up to around 60 C to get the PLA to stick. Prints usually come off fairly easy too.

Update 12/18/2013: It is now the middle of December and I am still on the first piece of tape I put on back in February. Printing about 12hrs a day 3 or 4 times a month. I will never go back to Kapton.

This stuff really works great. Much better than kapton so far. Only down side is they don't have rolls wide enough for my Replicator 2X. It's off by about 1/2".

Ordered a roll and tried it out. It's much easier to apply directly from the roll and is much more durable on my R2X heated build plate. I have yet to wear out my first application after two weeks of daily printing. Clean with acetone and rub some left over raft on the surface to give it a wee bit of bite. Once your print cools it usually just pops off without persuasion. A real winner! Thanks for the recommendation!

3 months later and I am still on the same piece of tape. I have even done more printing than usual and this tape just keeps hanging strong.