A key issue for any FDM printer is bed adhesion; prints must be firmly attached to the bed during the print process to ensure they don’t move but they also need to be easy to remove without damage once the print is complete. There are countless bed surfaces, tapes, glues and tricks that printer manufacturers and printer operators use to achieve this combination of stickiness and removability and each method has their own fans and detractors. I’ve been looking for a good solution specifically for PETG/CPE printing as, for me, this is the material that causes the most grief.
PETG is unlike most FDM filaments in that it’s really too sticky. Print PETG directly onto glass or a PEI bed surface and you’re likely to find the finished part is forever welded to that surface. After some experimentation, I’d settled on using Scotch Blue Tape as the base for my PETG prints, sometimes combined with some Elmer’s Purple glue or 3DLac spray for particular models prone to first layer problems and/or warp. This method worked well in terms of adhesion, the parts stuck to the tape well, but was a pain for removal. To remove the model I had to soak the tape and the model in IPA (isopropyl alcohol) which would then usually allow the tape to come free from the bed with some “encouragement”, then soak the part further in water to remove any traces of tape still stuck onto the part itself. This worked OK but was messy and time-consuming both on removal and in preparing the bed for printing initially. So, I was keen to find a print surface that would make my PETG printing easier.
I can’t remember where I first saw PrintBite mentioned, but the reviews suggested it could be exactly what I was looking for. Allegedly the PrintBite surface would keep parts secure while printing but also allows them to be simply lifted away once the bed was cool. As a plus, the bottom surface would be smooth and glossy. When I knew I had a large order for PETG coming up, and one that would benefit from that smooth lower surface, I took the plunge and ordered a PrintBite sheet cut for my FlashForge Pro. So, does it work?
The answer is a clear YES, but there are some caveats…