Another flexible build plate accessory has launched on Kickstarter: FLEKS3D.
It’s a temporarily removable plate that fits directly on top of your existing build plate. Why would you attach such a thing to your 3D printer? Because the FLEKS3D build plate provides significantly increased adhesion for your printed models. In other words, they won’t fall over while 3D printing.
The build plate is an alternative to the traditional “blue tape” method, where your build surface is covered with commonly available painter’s blue tape. PLA plastic in particular likes to stick to the tape, making PLA 3D printing relatively easy. Until one of two things happen:
- You want to remove the print from the tape and it won’t come loose
- The tape unsticks from the surface
Believe us, both of these things will happen with blue tape. Even worse, you can damage your print or yourself when removing the model (see FLEKS3D’s hilarious, but true video above).
The FLEKS3D build plate is quickly removable, whereupon you bend it to cause the print to pop off, much like removing ice cubes from a freezer tray.
The FLEKS3D system is a little different from other approaches we’ve seen before. While all these build plate solutions use similar plate technology, the differences are in how they are fixed to the 3D printer. Some actually replace the original build plate. Others, like FLEKS3D, simply fit on top of the existing build plate and thus you lose a few millimeters of build height. Some are attached with magnets, others with clips. But FLEKS3D uses a permanently attached frame, called the “RapidFrame”.
The actual build plate simply fits into the frame, making installation and removal after printing very, very easy. No clips to worry about! The FLEKS3D plate fits into a depression formed by the frame to completely control lateral movement.
Even better, the system includes TWO removable plates, meaning you can immediately start a second print while you’re leisurely removing the print from the first plate.
The system is available in several sizes and also specifically for MakerBot’s Replicator 2 and 5th Gen machines.
Currently it’s in funding mode on Kickstarter, where you can pick up a FLEKS3D kit for between USD$35-90, depending on the size and machine requirements.