PEI print surface preparation
The print surface should be regularly maintained to achieve optimal printing quality and minimize the chance of failed prints. It's an easy procedure, so let's take a look at our tips and recommendations.
Avoid compensating lack of adhesion by setting a lower Live Z (squishing the first layer). If lowered too much, the nozzle can damage the steel sheet and cause excessive vibrations. Any damage caused by incorrect Live Z value is not covered by the warranty.
There are multiple versions of the sheets as we were cooperating with multiple suppliers to provide the best possible quality. Your flexible steel sheet might not look like the one you see in the video, and there is no need to worry about it.
How to prepare your print surface
- To achieve the best adhesion of the print surface, it is vital to keep it clean. The best option when printing with ABS, PLA and many other materials is Isopropyl alcohol (always use IPA 90%+), which can usually be bought at your local drugstore. PETG is an exception - the adhesion may be too strong for it. For PETG, we recommend using a separating agent (e.g. a glue stick). For more information on how to print with PETG, check out our extensive guide.
- The second option is to spray some window cleaner (Windex or similar) on a paper towel and wipe the surface with it. Keep in mind that window cleaners de-grease the surface less than IPA. The bed can be cleaned even while hot, just be careful not to touch the surface or the nozzle. Alternatively, you can clean the surface using a paper towel in combination with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Denatured alcohol is also an option.
For the textured steel sheet, do not use acetone at all! Do not use ABS juice either!
- If you don't touch the print surface with your hands or dirty tools, then you don't have to clean it before every print. Clean your tools the same way as you would the bed, and you will be able to start your next print right away.
- It can happen that you will leave some small marks on the print surface with your nozzle or tools. Typically, they will be shinier than the rest of the pad. It does not affect the functionality or adhesion. However, if you want to have the same surface look on the whole print bed, you can resurface it. The easiest way is to take the hard side of a dry kitchen sponge and gently wipe the affected area in a circular motion a few times.
For more information about increasing the PEI adhesion visit the Increasing PEI adhesion.