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Any 'good' experiences with PEI print surfaces?

Posted by Ohmarinus 
Any 'good' experiences with PEI print surfaces?
October 16, 2020 04:45AM
Hi, so I've finally gotten around to playing with a couple of PEI sheets that I ordered over a year ago.

Reading about it I realized that most people see it as the holy grail of surfaces to print on. I wonder how many of those people have actually used a PEI sheet because in my experiences it just wants to fuse with the print and it doesn't come off even after cooling down the spring steel sheet. Now I also got ripped off by the seller with the spring steel sheet, turns out it's not really spring steel but something similar. This spring steel sheet does get bent up after bending it a bit so I'm starting to wonder, maybe I also didn't get real PEI.

Anyway, for me personally I think I'm going back to kapton tape since I recently got hooked on printing with PETG anyway and PEI seems to completely fuse with PETG but all in all I'm wondering, any success stories with PEI? I certainly do not think it's all it's cracked up to be and recommend kapton tape over PEI any day. It's also way easier to replace.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2020 04:46AM by Ohmarinus.

Re: Any 'good' experiences with PEI print surfaces?
October 16, 2020 07:56AM
I have been using PEI for years. Everything I've printed sticks to it. TPU is a little too sticky sometimes, but the prints come off with some work. My PEI is glued to a piece of 8mm aluminum plate, so the plate doesn't bend while I work on releasing a print. Maybe that's your problem- the plate is too thin...

Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Any 'good' experiences with PEI print surfaces?
October 16, 2020 04:45PM
I've been using PEI for a few months. I have to print PETG at a higher start offset than PLA or else it sticks too well, but otherwise I'm quite happy with it for PLA and PETG as long as I keep it clean and have a good first layer.
Re: Any 'good' experiences with PEI print surfaces?
October 17, 2020 03:45PM
I've been using the PEI sheets ever since I've had the Prusa MK3S, both the smooth and the textured.

PLA sticks ok to both of them. PETg and ABS, if anything, stick a bit too well and really need a release agent.

Some of the Prusa textured sheets are bad, but apparently I got one of the good ones. The only things that are tricky WRT sticking are small-footprint PLA prints and the first layer of PLA supports.

The thing is, with PEI, the surface REALLY has to be clean! It can't take a joke and a stray fingerprint will kill a print.

I'm in the habit of using the Layerneer Bed Weld as an adhesion helper for some PLA prints, and as a release agent for PETg and ABS prints.

I've done some PC Blend on the smooth sheet, and it definitely needs a release agent. They recommend glue stick and that's what I've used when doing PC Blend prints.
Re: Any 'good' experiences with PEI print surfaces?
October 18, 2020 08:36AM
Very interesting. I bought an MK52 bed with flexible steel sheet and two PEI sheets to DIY glue on them but in all honestly the PLA almost fuses with the PEI. Sometimes pulling off the first or first few layers from the bottom of the print.

I have tried rubbing my somewhat unclean hands over the PEI surface to make it less sticky (skin always has a certain amount of lipids and dead skin cells on the surface that are great for making stuff non-stick), but sadly it didn't make it less of a strong bond. After cooling the plate I still have to pull it off, leaving air bubbles underneath the PEI. It was perfectly placed before I started printing.

Guess I'll have to order both another spring steel sheet and then I'll just put kapton on top of it. What are your sources for the PEI sheet? Aliexpress?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2020 08:37AM by Ohmarinus.

Re: Any 'good' experiences with PEI print surfaces?
October 18, 2020 10:51AM
Crazy thing is that do now even know what my bed surfaces are. As the material is not listed on any E-Bay page I have purchased from.

Normally I get five 330mm square self adhesive surfaces for about $26.00 US dollars, They work with all materials I print, an are in my experiences really good.
Unless I make a mistake and scratch or gouge a chunk out of the surface which does not happen often.

Computer Programmer / Electronics Technician
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