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3d - Printworx

Prusa PEI coating

Started by Bad Raven, Friday,January 04, 2019, 14:56:55

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Bad Raven

You may know that the Mk3 Prusa came with a spring steel bedplate which is covered both sides with a PEI "sticker" sheet.  More recently the much vaunted powder coated bed plates have started to appear on new purchases but I do not have that.

I have the older type, which has been excellent. I taped one side with blue tape (Hobbyking sheet) for PETG and kept the other for PLA.

This worked well.

I then recently decided to remove the blue tape and use that side bare PEI for PLA.  Obviously I took great care to remove any adhesive and cleaned up with acetone and then IPA.

And, the adhesion was rubbish. Several repeat treatments later, still rubbish, so I recovered it with a new PEI sheet and it was fine again.

So, did the tape covering, it's adhesive, or the constant heating that side affect it?  Something did!
HobbyKing Fabrikator II Mini, 100x100x100. (a Malyan printer re-badged) - Modded with magnetic Flex Bed

Original Prusa i3 Mk3 (All Black)


Ive been using the same PEI sheet for over a year now and its had a lot of use, If you buy the thicker stuff you can wet and dry it to smooth it out if you gauge it, and I find cheap wilkos nail polish remover cleans and rejuvenates it well  ~~
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even if you dont use it for vaping abs parts, some pure acetone is good to have on hand for cleaning a bed surface, quick wipe over pei, glass, printbite or similar and its like new, I generally give my Kapton tape coat print bed a quick wipe every couple of days which gives it back any adhesion it might have lost from print residue or dust.  Also handy to have for rejuvenating/salvaging any nozzles/throats that are blocked with abs (and some lesser blocked petg nozzles).
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Bad Raven

This was an as supplied bed PEI layer on the spring steel (double sided).  I know back in May when I got the printer it worked perfectly as I tried both sides.

NOTHING I did improved it, including in the end repeated Acetone (100%), and yet all it had done was sit under the blue sheet I'd applied over the top, mostly face down on the heat bed as I had printed far more PLA to the PEI exposed side than the blue tape with PETG and Flex. It looked no different.

Either it had aged or the blue tape adhesive affected it.  I actually applied a new PEI sheet on top of the ultra thin old, adjusted Z and it  is now fine with no other changes
HobbyKing Fabrikator II Mini, 100x100x100. (a Malyan printer re-badged) - Modded with magnetic Flex Bed

Original Prusa i3 Mk3 (All Black)


Sunday,January 06, 2019, 23:39:37 #4 Last Edit: Sunday,January 06, 2019, 23:48:01 by nate80
It's a common issue with the Prusa pei sticker sheet. PLA sticks great when it's new but the coating wears over time and, whilst acetone rejuvenation can improve things sometimes, the Prusa sheet never gets back to its best again.

I've noticed the same thing. I used PETG on one side for a few weeks and the side that was against the heated bed lost much of its adhesion properties to PLA simply through prolonged heat transfer. Acetone did help rejuvenate it a little but it was still far less adhesive to PLA than it used to be - and the damaged side was only used a couple times before being flipped for a few weeks PETG usage.

Glue stick and hairspray make PLA stick again, but I know you just want it to stick to the PEI sheet again.

Off topic slightly... Interestingly I've found, contrary to others experiences, PETG sticks just right to the Prusa PEI sticker sheet. I've read so many accounts of people tearing up and ruining their PEI stickers when trying to get their PETG models off the build plate cos they stick too well, but I've printed directly onto the surface since I first got the MK3 and I've never had an issue getting PETG off or damaged the build plate. After printing with PETG filament all my PLA's don't stick well to the side that I've used the PETG on though. Even after an 100% acetone clean PLA won't stick well.

TPU Flex definitely grips REALLY well, but a quick coating of glue stick before the print helps make it come off easier. Whilst it's still tough to remove, TPU hasn't torn or scarred my Prusa PEI sticker yet either. I'm looking forward to testing the powder coated PEI surface when it FINALLY arrives.