We’ve been raving about the utility of specialized flexible 3D printing plates for a while now, but here’s a video demonstrating it.
The folks at Adafruit 3D printed a rather enormous helmet on their TAZ 4 personal 3D printer. This huge hunk of PLA plastic would have been challenging to remove from its print surface when completed, but as you’ll see in the video, it was simple with the use of the build plate.
The Adafruit crew used the PrintInZ printing plate, which we’ve covered previously. It’s a specialized printing surface that adheres extremely well to PLA plastic. Once the printing is complete, you simply remove the plate - with model attached - and flex it. The model just pops off, usually with a very satisfying “crack!”
You can hear the crack yourself if you watch the video above at the 4m mark.
If your print surface is not removable, we can’t imagine the trouble you’d have getting this giant helmet off the print bed. At the least you’d put your 3D printer bed out of level. At worst, you chop off a finger while prying the model off with a knife.
Buy a 3D printing plate and save your fingers. It’s the smart thing to do.