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3D printing

3D printer Polycarbonate (Lexan) print surface 2

Just a quick follow up of my previous post on the topic of achieving better first layer adhesion of FDM 3D prints using Polycarbonate a.k.a. Lexan sheet as printing surface. Here I just want to show the result of printing a bunch of brackets and spacers I used in my TV cable management in ABS. And a plant watering bulb in PET-G.

First the ABS brackets, there was great first layer adhesion, no detaching or curling at all. After bending the PC/Lexan plate, the parts partially detach and are easily removed by hand. Check the video bellow. It has subtitles describing what I am duing and why.

Now about the PETG. I Printed some potted plants watering bulbs to keep the plants on our balcony in good shape. I printed them in PETG in vase mode, worked out great. First attempt was to print on the PC/Lexan sheet directly. It looked like working fine, great first layer:

And the print finished nicely. The quality control did agree on that 🙂

But there was a problem when removing the print of the Polycarbonate sheet. It started well, but one spot was stuck too well. It might be because the bottom of the object printed was only 0.75 mm thick but it broke. Then I switched to another PC sheet on which I have paper masking tape applied. There was again great first layer and the print detached with no issues at the end. Check the video bellow:

After closer examination of the sanded Lexan sheet, I noticed that it had become quite smooth in the most used areas. This seems to be the reason for the PETG print to get stuck there and brake on removal. I had noticed that some of the ABS pieces located in this area had greater adhesion as well, so the solution is to sand the sheet again, or use the other side and when both get too smooth, then sand both sides. But just to be on the save side I am going to continue using the masking tape for PETG and print directly on the PC/Lexan sheet for ABS and PLA.

Another thing worth mentioning is that since the Lexan is flexible it will follow the warp that the heated bed develops when heating up and might even warp a bit more than it. There for I suggest using mesh bed levelling. I don’t have an automatic probe yet, but I am using the on screen bed levelling menu and it works just fine. I am running the procedure of bed levelling only if I notice some problems with the first layer and then store the values.

NOTE: Your results might vary, there fore I would recommend to first make some experiments in order to find the best settings for your particular machine.

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