We wrote about PRINTinZ’s amazing print plate previously, but now there’s an all-new version.
The new version, or “formulation” is not only a different color (beige), but it also performs better.
But first, you might be wondering what a print plate is? It’s a specialized surface that is affixed to your normal print surface. The plate is chemically designed to strongly stick to ABS and PLA plastics automatically, without any requirement for blue tape, hair spray, ABS “juice” or other sticky approaches. Just print and it sticks.
The other benefit of a removable print plate is the ability to pop off completed prints. Once the print completes, you simply remove the plate and twist; like an ice cube tray, your prints just pop off with little difficulty. The plate can then be replaced for more prints.
We’ve been testing the new “formulation” for a while now and have had virtually flawless results, at least regarding sticking to the print surface. Even the most amazing print plate cannot fix extruder or filament problems.
The new plate differs in surface smoothness. The original plate was very slightly irregular, which usually resulted in a textured bottom surface to all prints. Not an issue, but the new plate is far smoother, making prints have a near-perfect bottom.
One challenge has arisen with the new smoother surface, however. The plate is a bit more demanding when it comes to leveling. The textured surface of the old plate would forgive slightly off-level beds as the extruded plastic could usually grab the textured surface. This is less so with the new plate, but that’s the price for receiving perfectly flat bottoms to your prints.
One tip we strongly recommend if you’re using a plate like PRINTinZ’s: when mounting your plate to the print bed (usually with a few strategically placed strong paper clips) is to bend the plate by hand to ensure the center of the plate is touching the bed. The edges are then held down by the paper clips. If you don’t do this, you risk having the center of the plate “bubble” up slightly, making your print surface un-level.
The plates eventually wear out, as each print seems to absorb a very small amount of material from the plate. However, by printing in different areas you can use the plate for hundreds of hours. When it’s “done”, just turn it over and use the other side for more hours.
PRINTinZ offers these plates in various prices based on the size. There’s a plate for you, as PRINTinZ currently shows fourteen different sizes, ranging in price from USD$25-105. We suspect they’d even make you a custom-size plate if you asked nicely, too.
If you have a personal 3D printer that extrudes plastic, you really need to get a printing plate. We believe it to be an essential accessory.