Perfboard Build Surface

by TeamTeamUSA, published

Perfboard Build Surface by TeamTeamUSA Jan 3, 2011



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Perfboard Build Surface by TeamTeamUSA is licensed under the Public Domain license.

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Hate warping and don't have a heated build platform‽ No worries, a few coins in perfboard will have you flat in no time.

These are instructions for an UP!, but most tips should apply to a Cupcake too! YMMV.

Taken from http://pp3dp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=96&start=10#p1792, here's all you need to know about warp-free printing on the cheap!

"The perfboard trick is baller! Big UP!s rross!

I haven't had any warping since I started printing on it and I'm going deep and wide and tall. Of course I've done the platform leveling and nozzle height adjustments, but until I printed on perfboard, I'd get some warping on wide, long or thick prints. If you can't find copper plated perfboard, no worries; it's the holes, not the copper, that does the trick.

A few tips if you decide to do this:

  1. READJUST NOZZLE HEIGHT!!! Since you're adding ~1.5mm to the top of the platform, your current height will cause the nozzle to meet the perfboard in an unsightly way.
  2. REMOVE! Remove the platform from the printer before attempting to dislodge the print from the perfboard. The print sticks well and you don't want to subject your printer to the forces necessary to to unstick it.
  3. BIAS! Cut the board on an angle so that the perfs are not parallel to the printer's X and Y axes. I belatedly noticed that rross cut his on a bias; my utility knife scoring wasn't spot on, so it's all good. Yours will be better if you plan for this.
  4. TAPE WELL! Ensure that the tape - blue painter's tape works great - sufficiently wraps around the top and bottom of the platform. On my first print, I wrapped the tape miserly on the perfboard and while printing, one of the strips detached. No prints suffered during this episode.
  5. COOL! Definitely allow the platform to cool a few minutes before removing the print. The plastic in the holes contracts and makes removal easier.
  6. DON'T PREHEAT! One of the bonuses of printing on perfboard is that the platform doesn't need preheating. This saves time, effort and watts.
  7. OVERLAP! When printing multiple models, I overlap the rafts a bit so that all rafts are connected. This ensures that raft areas that fall outside the perfs are still secured by those that do (maybe less of any issue if you cut the board on a bias).
  8. LED! Most of the plastic comes out of the holes, but to remove the bits that remain, LED leads work great (we all have the odd LED laying about, yes?)!"


Obtain Verboard or 0.1" fiberglass perfboard and cut to size at an angle. Semi-copper plated perfboard works best but the flatness is achieved mechanically, so don't sweat if you can't find the copper stuff.

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No results.

I just gave this a try with a cupcake and I didn't have any success.I also tried heating up the perfboard a bit and still no success. My extruder temp was at 220. The UP extrudes at a much higher temperature doesn't it? Maybe that's the difference.

You have to position the extruder nozzle thisclose to the platform. It won't work if you have it the typical distance for acrylic or tape.

Thanks for summing up the thread, and the step-by-step guide!

I think they would. This makes me wonder if the heated platform is needed at all with this thing

I did some measurements on my heated platform while it was covered in painters tape and it only ever got up to 80C. I imagine this would insulate even more that painters tape. Also they wait until the object has cooled to remove it from the platform. If internal stresses were going to cause the object to warp, wouldn't it happen during then cooling phase and not after?

I've done this on mine it has nothing to do with heat. The raft injects down into the holes and grabs it so it physically will not come up. Works great!

I wonder... I've got some pyralux, which is basically copper-clad Kapton... To the 'bot!

i am using one too. Works better then the green paint and kapton tap.

The thread says "The platform is heated, it's just not pre-heated."

Without a heated bed large objects warp after you remove them, even if you manage to hold them flat while building.

I've changed things a bit since that post; my bad for not explaining. :-E

I now elevate the build platform ~6mm above the heater to accommodate the binder clips you see.

Some relevant data points:
Ambient temp: 27°C
Heater temp: 110°C
Perfboard temp: 36°C
ABS temp: 270°C
Build area: 140mm x 140mm

While not scientific by any stretch, my conclusion as borne out by dozens of prints, is that the mechanical grip of the ABS raft in the perfboard holes is sufficient
to keep the part flat on a build area up to 140mm^2 with little heat. If I could turn off the heater I would - save time and power - but the software will not permit it.

Of course this build platform would work horribly for raftless printing, so another build platform is required (Kapton, painter'
s tape, etc).

Well maybe UP abs is different, but my experience is that objects built on a cold bed and held flat by mechanical means warp after they are removed (when cold). Obviously not as much as they would if not held flat during the build, but a lot more than objects built on a hot bed, which actually warp slightly the other way if they are big enough.

Maker Gear plastic appears to not have this issue either.

I wouldn't think it matters, but perhaps the Up! Raft/support scheme is a factor...