3D Printing straight onto glass with PLA

A couple of weeks ago I cracked a pretty big personal milestone with 3D printing; extruding PLA straight onto glass. Without blue painters, or kapton tape. This had been a pretty tricky problem to solve - as getting the first layer of plastic to bond to your print platform is one of the hardest nuts to crack when you first embark on the 3D printing journey. I had all manner of issues with plastic curling, knotting and perfectly good prints getting knocked out of place mid print. But no more!


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://reprage.com/post/26661739705/3d-printing-straight-onto-glass-with-pla

Thanks for sharing your idea with the etched glass plate. I’m going to buy one of these to test it out, because Kapton tape is expensive and very hard to apply. (Takes much time even if I use the soap water trick)

BTW: I’m using a RepRap Mendel (Prusa) and the aluminium plate is between the glass plate and the PCB to spread the heat to every edge, because glass isn’t a good heat conductor. The bottom (under the PCB) is made of laser cut MDF.
But this article was written in 2012 so probably the structure has changed.

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Using an aluminium plate to help spread the heat across the glass plate is a really nifty trick. What sort of heat times do you have? Imagine heating up the aluminium and the glass slows things a little?

It needs about 4:30 to heat up to 65°C. The temperature is very stable because of the large heat capacity of the aluminium plate.

I’m currently printing on some Sörli (from IKEA) and I can’t remove the printed items until the mirror cools down to room temperature. But because you get 4 in one package it’s possible to print non stop. After every print I clean them with alcohol and a piece of paper towel.
But I will definitely buy some etched glass, because the mirrors are smaller than my bed and this is wasted space.

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