GeckoTek launched a new polymer-sheet style 3D print adhesion solution they call the “EZ Stick”.
The problem being solved here is the for a great many plastic extrusion-style desktop 3D printers, the manufacturer’s build plate is simply inadequate when it comes to ensuring the print sticks during printing operations. Many desktop 3D printers now offer heated build plates, which do help a great deal, but even then the strong forces of warping can overcome the adhesion and you’ll see the corners curling up, ruining the print.
I’ve tried to use adhesion solutions on all my 3D printers and it really does help. However, some solutions are more trouble than others. Early advice required you to use specific brands of blue painter’s tape, or acetone-ABS concoctions. I prefer a more permanent solution that enables the machine to be ready to go at any time.
There are a number of solutions of this type, which usually appear as a replacement build plate or something similar that straps on top of the existing build plate. Often they are removable, which provides a way to quickly pop off a print by bending the plate.
GeckoTek’s original product, introduced in 2014, was one of these replacement plates, and it proved reasonably successful.
Now they’ve taken that plate chemistry and applied it to a polymer sheet that sticks to your existing build plate. The result is something that works well, and is less expensive than a full build plate replacement.
They call it the “EZ Stick”, and it is applied like a big sticker to your build plate. Once applied, it’s good for around 100 prints, they say.
There are two versions of the EZ Stick: the “EZ Stick Hot” is designed for 3D printers with heated build plates, and it is capable of handling “ABS, PLA, PETG, Nylon, flexibles, and more.”
The second version is the “EZ Stick Cold”, designed for “cold” plate 3D printers that intend on printing only PLA plastic.
As this is simply a sheet of polymer, it’s easy to cut it to fit virtually any 3D printer’s build plate, unless it is of gigantic size.
Brad Ruff is raising funds for EZ Stick 3D Printer Build Surface by GeckoTek on Kickstarter! The Most Reliable, Easy-to-Use Build Surface that fits any Desktop 3D Printer
This inexpensive solution looks good, but I have one caution: sometimes you really do have prints that stick too much and they require considerable effort to remove using mechanical tools. This occurs if you have a number of small contact points, as opposed to large blocky prints as shown in GeckoTek’s videos.
For such situations, it is very useful to be able to remove the print surface to work on it more comfortably, and without risk of your tools slipping and damaging the remainder of the 3D printer.
That could be a potential problem with the EZ Stick if you cannot remove your build plate.
However, for most people this is a good solution. And it’s price is right too: only USD$19 for their Kickstarter launch.
Normally I would caution purchases from startup 3D printing companies, but in this case the price is so low that it is simply worth the risk.
If you have a basic build plate, you may want to consider the EZ Stick solution.