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Bilby 3D Knowledge Bank Article

Success with PEI Bed Tape

Learn how to print on PEI bed tape

Success with PEI Bed Tape

PEI is an increasingly popular print surface for many reasons. It's relatively maintenance free, very long lasting and durable, as well as leaving a surface finish much like glass.

What materials can I print on PEI?

PLA and ABS both adhere to PEI well, with PLA needing a very clean surface and ABS being more forgiving. PETG can adhere too well, as PEI and PET are in the same family of plastics. Removing parts while the bed is still hot can help negate this, but some glue-stick is a better option to avoid damaging the surface. Nylon adhered well with PVA gluestick, as does Polycarbonate.

What bed temperatures should I be using?

The standard temps that you've been using will work with PEI. From our experience these are:

  • PLA: 50 – 60 degrees
  • ABS: 100 – 110 degrees
  • PETG: 80 – 90 degrees
  • Nylon: 80 – 90 degrees
  • PC: 100 – 110 degrees

Refreshing your PEI sheet

So long as you're not touching the bed directly you'll get quite a number of prints without having to do anything to the surface. If you start to lose adhesion it can be easily cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, and any prints that have a very small footprint can be helped out with PVA glue. PVA and Glue Stick residue can be removed with a water damped paper towel.

In the long term you might find that cleaning with isopropyl will no longer be enough. When you get this this stage you can refresh the surface to like new by heating the bed up to 100 degrees, turning off and unplugging the printer, and then laying a damp (not dripping) towel over the bed for 5 minutes before wiping down with isoproyl. If you use this method, make sure that before turning your printer back on that everything is dry as a bone. You won't want to short out your bed!

If this doesn't work then rubbing it lightly with some fine-grit sandpaper (1500+) and then giving it another wipe with isoproyl and you'll have a like new print surface! When you can no longer sand down the sheet it's time to replace it, but that'll be years away.

Cutting your PEI sheet to size

PEI can be easily cut by scoring it with a hobby knife. We recommend against using scissors or a paper cutter as the thicker sheets can be quite stiff.

Attaching your PEI sheet

PEI sheets come in 2 flavours, self-adhesive and adhesive supplied separately. The method of affixing them is generally the same. First remove your old bed surface and give it a very good clean with isopropyl or acetone to remove any dust, old adhesive and oil. If you have a self-adhesive PEI sheet put down one side and carefully apply it using a soft scraper to ensure no air bubbles are trapped. If you have a 2 part package, remove the tape off one side of the adhesive and apply that as described above. Remove the upper tape and lay down the PEI sheet using the same method.

633 571 588

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PEI Bed Tape - 310 x 310mm - 0.8mm thick
This PEI (Ultem) Sheet comes complete with a sheet of 3M 468MP Adhesive to fix it to your bed
Size 310 x 310mm. 0.8mm thick
Single Sheet

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Copyright 2019 Bilby3D
Bilby 3D Pty. Ltd. Phone 1800-847-333 International +61 2 8197 3928

Australian Distributors of desktop sized 3D Printers (Raise3D, FlashForge, Roland, Reprap, Makerbot & UP printers), 3D Scanners, Tools & Parts

Sydney: 23 / 110 Bourke Rd, Alexandria, NSW 2015, Austraia

Brisbane: 2 / 474 Upper Edward St, Spring Hill, QLD 4000

Melbourne: A5 / 2 Westall Rd, Clayton, VIC 3168