3D printing accessory maker BuildTak is developing a steel plate to improve performance of their bed-sticking solution.
BuildTak is one of several vendors providing “sticky” solutions for personal 3D printers. The problem being solved is devilish and critical: if prints don’t properly stick to the print surface, the print inevitably fails in one way or another. Sometimes these failures can actually damage your machine significantly, should a lump of plastic come loose and get caught in the mechanisms.
BuildTak’s original approach was to produce a sticky film that could be applied to the existing print bed of almost any extrusion-based 3D printer. BuildTak’s film is chemically designed to provide significant adhesion to ABS and PLA plastics, the two most commonly used print materials.
Their product was very successful and is used today by a great many 3D printer owners.
But is it perfect? Not quite. While the BuildTak film does make items stick, the reverse problem also occurs: How do you easily remove a print from the print bed when complete? Sometimes prints could be pulled off, but other times it could be a struggle with scrapers and brute force.
Their solution: a flexible printing plate made from spring steel that clips onto the existing print bed. Normal BuildTak film is simply applied to the steel plate, which is affixed with clips.
When printing completes, the steel plate is removed and bent by hand to cause the prints to simply pop off the plate. This is usually much easier than removing the printer’s factory-made, inflexible print plate after each operation to scrap off prints. The flexible plate approach has been proven successful by other vendors, and BuildTak now gains this very useful capability.
No word yet on pricing or availability, but we’re certain most BuildTak users will want to upgrade by adding a plate, which BuildTak no doubt will offer in sizes to match popular 3D printers.