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Ultem PEI as printbed surface

Posted by tkole 
Ultem PEI as printbed surface
December 17, 2013 08:41AM
I'm not sure if this has been brought up before but I thought I should post my results of using Ultem PEI as a printbed surface. I bought a piece of 12x12x1/16" Ultem PEI from McMaster-Carr


and then attached to my aluminum printbed with 12 bulldog clips (3 on each side). I then tested it with PLA and ABS. My first run was with PLA at a bed temp of 55C (measured with a thermistor attached to the aluminum bed), because this is what I would normally do on Kapton. That first test went well but there was a bit of lift on the corners of the piece that I printed (110 x 90 x 30mm rectangular box, no brim). So I decided to up the temp 5C and repeated at a bed temp of 60C. The results were fantastic and the piece printed with absolutely no lift. I repeated this over and over with varying sized parts and achieved similar results. I then moved to ABS. I decided to add 5C to what I would normally do on Kapton so I printed at a bed temp of 100C and again obtained a perfect part with no lift. Another great thing about this is that the pieces come off almost effortlessly when the bed cools down. I think I'm officially done with all bed prep methods and will stick with this for the future. One thing I am trying is ordering a thinner sheet and then attempting to bond to a mirror tile in an effort to reduce cost and eliminate some of the clips. Here is a pic of the bed:
open | download - pei.jpg (522.5 KB)
Re: Ultem PEI as printbed surface
December 17, 2013 09:47AM
hey i got smilar results with my PEI printbed, PLA stucks at 45° (big parts need a bit more heat like 50°).
Never got any lifting Problems. I drilled six holes in my PEI plate and screw it with m3 directly on my 4mm Aluminiumbed.
Works like charm!
Re: Ultem PEI as printbed surface
December 17, 2013 10:47AM
Looks like a great solution!

I often need pliers to get the prints off, and I scratched my tape a few times. How durable is this film?
Re: Ultem PEI as printbed surface
December 17, 2013 01:27PM
I am using a 1/16" thick piece so it's not a film. I crashed my nozzle into it at 225C accidentally and it didn't scratch. It seems like it will hold up quite well, which is the reason I tried it in the first place. I hate peeling off and reapplying Kapton. You can buy this in a film as well but I think you would end up having the same problems as Kapton then.
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