3D Printer Build Plate

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This is a page describing OSE's knowledge about different FFF 3D Printer build plates. Take build plate properties in consideration when choosing 3D_Printer_Auto_Bed_Leveling.

Build Yourself Solutions

Clean Glass

Borosilicate lasts longer, but common mirror glass works. Needs to be kept very clean.

Clean Metal Sheet

Not very flat in most cases. Spreads heat well. Will need some kind of glue or coating in most cases.

Printed Circuit Board

Kapton Tape

PVA Based Glue

Blue Painters Tape

Polyethylenimine (PEI)

This polymer has been reported to work very well as a print surface for PLA, ABS and a few other materials. See forum threads [1], [2], [3]. It is somethimes used as coating, and sometimes as solid sheets.

Examples of Successful Usage

The upper surface of the Lulzbot Mini print bed is coated with PEI.

A forum user reports that this sheet works well: [4]

There are also people on ebay selling it as 3d print surfaces: [A few dollars cheaper on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Filament-Innovations-3D-Printer-RepRap-Print-Bed-8x8-Polyetherimide-PEI-/201478755029?hash=item2ee911d2d5:g:MxgAAOSwnH1WYYFV]


  • Print PLA (at ~50 C) and ABS (at ~75 C) and prints come loose almost by themselves when bed cools down. This makes PEI easier to use than BuildTak and various glues, who often stick "too well" to the print, so the user has to pry it loose with great force and/or sharp tools.
  • Available as flat solid sheets. This would mean avoiding sensitive coatings, tapes and glues that needs to be applied and re-applied.


  • PEI by itself doesn't trigger inductive sensors. PEI coated aluplates are available on ebay [5]. Performance of PEI coated aluminum seems similar to GeckoTek plates version RepRap, MK2, HT.
  • Procedure for coating plates in PEI ourselves is currently unknown to us.
  • It is reported that nylon doesn't stick well to PEI.
  • Requires heat bed to work well
  • High cost. Ca $20 per sheet when bought in small pre-cut quantities.

For more background on PEI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylenimine

Polyisocyanurate (PIR) Foam

ABS and Nylon has been reported to stick well to PIR foam. See forum thread [6].

For more background on PIR: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyisocyanurate

Commercially Available Specialized Solutions



A black tape that's easy to apply and remove from any material. Thin enough so inductive sensing is possible if glued to metal surface. Might make prints stick too hard if temperatures are high and first layer gets squashed down too hard.



Sheets of metal with coating. The metal is flexible, which eases print removal. It also allows inductive sensing. We should not use their magnet solution before we know if it would interfere with the inductive sensing.



Zebra Plate


3D Eez glue

Has some PVA in it.

Research Sources

Forum Threads


Blog posts

http://richrap.blogspot.se/2015/01/stick-with-it-3d-printing-print-bed.html Blog post stepping through (part of) tech tree of choices: [7]

Wiki Articles