The printer bed is an important component of a 3D printer. The printer bed should be clean while you are using it, so you have to know how to clean 3D printer bed properly. The bed is the component to place the printing, hence cleanliness is important. Check how to clean it here.
The Solution of How to Clean 3D Printer Bed
You might hear that acetone is the agent to clean nail polish or anything that has thin paint on the surface. Amazingly, acetone works well to clean the printer bed. If you use plastic material for mold, acetone will work wonders and faster because it dissolves the material.
If your bed is from glass material, acetone is the best of how to clean resin 3D printer bed. The dirt such as debris and grease will also vanish fast. However, you have to avoid using acetone if your bed material is plastic. Acetone will eliminate the layer and damage it over time.
2. Isopropyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is an important component that you will find in many cleaning agents, such as disinfectants, antiseptics, and detergents. This alcohol is rubbing alcohol since it can remove dust and grease easily and fast.
If you find a cleaning agent with alcohol of about 70% to 90%, it is isopropyl alcohol as the agent of how to clean 3D printer bed. If your printer bed is from PEI material or glass material. Any residue because of 3D printer activity will vanish easily and you can depend on this alcohol for it.
Can Soap Clean The Printer Bed?
Yes. The soap can clean the printer bed because it contains a dissolving agent. It can remove dirt easily and fast. Soap cleanings such as window cleaners and soap are the best option to clean the bed, yet you don’t have to spend much money to clean it. It’s the cleaning agents at home.
If the cleaning agents contain perfume, you don’t have to worry about that. Since the perfume also contains alcohol, the soap cleaning still works well for the bed. They don’t only remove dirt but also grease. The result is clean and your printer bed has a good smell too.
Another option to clean the printer bed is using soap. Soap is a cleaning agent because it can remove bacteria on the bed well. The printer bed from glass is easy to clean. It’s cheap how to clean 3D printer bed. You only have to mix the soap with warm water before using it.
Bed Print from Glass
The bed print from glass is one of the favorite choices by the user. Glass material is easy to clean. The heat distribution on the glass bed print is fine and the result is very smooth. In the market, bed print from glass is popular because it is very affordable and the maintenance is easy.
If you are going to have a bee print from glass, you have to be careful since it is more fragile than other materials. However, the result on the glass bed print will prevent the formation of layers with buffers, especially on the first layer. This is a preventive move to have better results on your design.
By having the bed printed from glass, you can avoid additional layers before printing. How to clean 3D printer bed from glass is way easier because you don’t have to put much effort into it. You can minimize the residue and also avoid the layers between the drip and from nozzles.
How to Clean 3D Printer Bed from Glass
- The first thing to do is remove the plate from the bed. This is an important step because you have to avoid other components from cleaning agents that you use. Other components might be very sensitive to the cleaning agents.
- Take a scraper and make sure that it is dry. After that, scrape the residue or glue that sticks on the plate of the printer bed. You might need to give powerful pressure because some glue is strong.
- Take a cloth that has been soaked in warm water. You can mix the warm water with a spoonful of soap because it works to clean the grease on the bed. If you don’t have mild soap, you can use dishwasher soap or window cleaner spray.
- Wipe the bed gently and clean the 3D printer bed mildly. You have to wear gloves to prevent leaving fingerprints on the glass printer bed.
- Let it dry well and move the printer bed onto the 3D printer.
Adhesive Tape Printer Bed
The adhesive printer bed is the option when you choose the model of FDM. This printer bed is unique because you will not find a bed that can spread heat while printing the mold. There is a separate way how to clean 3D printer bed you have to know if your 3D printer is this model.
Besides the advantage of being neat while printing the molt, this model also has disadvantages that you have to understand. You might see the bottom of the design has fine lines, yet the adhesive tape prevents it from getting worse. This type is not easy to clean, so it is important to understand the tutorial.
Cleaning Tutorial of Adhesive Tape Printer Bed
- For the leftover filament, you have to remove the filament using the scraper. This is the safest way to do it because the scraper will not damage the adhesive tape printer bed. Do it gently yet firmly, so the residue will leave out the bed easily. Make sure the scraper is dry.
- The tape that has been damaged should be removed from the printer bed. This is the most important part of how to clean 3D printer bed with adhesive tape. After you remove it, you have to replace the tape with the new one and maintain the level of the surface.
- Wear gloves while removing and replacing the tape. Gloves will help you to avoid fingerprints on the bed. The fingerprint will cause an unnecessary layer on the design and it wastes your time as well as your money.
- If you find out that the tape is uneven and it leads to an ugly result, you have to remove and replace the entire tape at the same time. After that, clean the printer bed from the glue using acetone. A new layer can be applied after that.
PEI Printer Bed
The PEI printer bed stands for polyetherimide. This printer bed is from thermoplastic, but the components in it are stable. So, when the printing process occurs, the PEI printer bed will not melt because of the heat. The chemical components of PEI are heat-resistant, so it is safe to print on the bed.
This material is excellent when it comes to adhesion level. It is way better than an adhesive tape printer bed. However, how to clean 3D printer bed from PEI is not as hard as an adhesive tape printer bed. You will not find any glue print here because it doesn’t need extra glue for the first layer.
How to Clean PEI Printer Bed
- Move the PEI printer bed from its print bed because it can avoid some damage because of the cleaning agent to the component in the 3D printer. It’s better if you don’t spray the cleaning agent on the bed because the drizzle will spread.
- If you use a dry cloth, use the clean one it has been soaked before. You can wipe the PEI printer bed as a way how to clean 3D printer bed. The cloth will remove the residue because of filament and gunk. To make it more powerful, mix it with warm water and soap.
- For maintenance once a month or once in two weeks, you can use acetone for better results. Acetone is good to remove thin paint and filaments. The acetone is not only working well for the plastic but also for PEI material. Replace the sheet if needed.
- Since the fingerprint can create damage to the design, it is better if you wear gloves. The fingerprint will cause fine lines on the design and you have to smoothen the surface again using sandpaper.
When to Clean Printer Bed?
It is important to know when to clean the printer bed. It depends on how often you use the 3D printer for your work. The more often you use it, the more you clean the printer bed. If you use it regularly, cleaning it after you use the printer bed is the best time.
You can establish a fixed schedule to clean the printer bed. With dust and debris, the output of the printer will look ugly. You might not be able to get the best output and the form of design can be far from what you expect. Cleaning the printer will create many differences.
However, you can measure how often the cleaning is done whenever you see the printer bed is dirty. If it has a lot of dust and debris, or residue, you can start cleaning the bed immediately. The residue will affect the next printing output badly. Find the best solution according to the dirt.
It’s also better to clean the printer bed if you haven’t used it for a long time already. The printer bed needs to be clear of any dirt on it. After a long time, a lot of dust might gather on the bed. Your design will not be smooth and the surface will be ugly. You can use tape to clean the dust.
The Importance of Printer Bed Cleaning
Improving the adhesion
The printer bed has a certain level of adhesion because the print output will lay there. If you don’t know how to clean 3D printer bed, it only reduces the adhesion level. As a result, the print output lies there. It may ruin your prints and waste the materials you have prepared.
Improving print look
It’s important to have a good appearance of your print, yet one of the contributing factors is the clean printer bed. The residue on the bed will bring a bad influence on the prints. Usually, the surface will not be smooth. Fine lines on the surface also ruin the whole appearance of your design.
Avoid more residue buildup
If you let the printer bed dirty, the residue buildup, and it only makes the condition of the bed get worse. When the residue is sticking on the bed, it’s harder to clean up and you might need additional material such as a scraper and acetone. It’s better to clean it after use.
Less adhesive material
A dirty printer bed is not good for the printing result. The bed is also less adhesive than your print to be more stable. Usually, the user will put some adhesive material such as tape to make the condition of the printer bed better. With a clean bed, you don’t need additional material and it’s more efficient.
Safe Tips for Cleaning Printer Bed
Wear the Gloves
It is important to protect your own hands by wearing gloves while cleaning the printer bed. Besides the material that might give you an allergic reaction, gloves also prevent the bed from having fingerprints from your hand. The fingerprint will ruin the output of your design.
Use the safe materials
There are many cleaning agents to use, but you have to use the safe one. It is important for your good because poisonous or dangerous materials will ruin the surface of the printer bed. The best option is still warm soapy water. You can DIY with the materials you have at home.
Avoid using razor
Razor might remove the residue on the printer bed. However, using it too hard while cleaning the residue might damage the printer bed. As a result, you will see fine lines on the bed. While printing the mold, it may have some fine lines as well.
Adjust with printer bed material
It is important to know the main material of your printer bed before cleaning. Using the wrong cleaning agent that is not suitable for printer bed material will damage the bed. PEI, glass, and adhesive tape have their cleaning agents type to use for cleaning.
What Happens If You Don’t Clean Printer Bed?
The residue will build up on the bed. The result is your design will be different from what you plan because the residue changes how it looks. It is wasting the material you use, especially if the mold is from expensive material. It is important to clean the bed before using it.
A dirty printer bed is also the main factor why the other components will get affected. The 3D printer is complex, so you have to be careful while using it. In dirty condition, the printer bed can ruin how the nozzle will drip the material on the bed.
In case you are afraid to ruin the condition of the printer bed, you can always clean the bed after you use it. Cleaning the printer bed is easy by wiping the alcohol pads on the bed. It prevents the residue as well as other dirt such as debris and dust on the bed.
The Best Equipment to Clean The Printer Bed
The sponge is the right material to clean the printer bed after you use it. It is practical and cheap, but you need additional material. You can combine warm water or soapy water on the sponge. You can wipe the bed after that and the dust will stick to the sponge.
You have to make sure that the cloth is rich in fiber because it will easily remove the residue on the printer bed. Even when you clean the bed hard with the fiber cloth, the risk of damage to the printer bed is little. It is a safe material to use.
Cotton with alcohol is also a good option for how to clean 3D printer bed. It is cheap and you can DIY get this material. You can use any percentage of alcohol and then put it on the cotton. After that, wipe the printer bed.
Scrapper is the main tool to remove the residue on the bed. The buildup residue is hard to clean just by wiping it with soapy water or alcohol. The best solution is to scrap the residue gently. After that, wipe the bed using a cloth.
The methods above are the best way how to clean 3D printer bed. This component shouldn’t be dirty because the result will get affected by dust and debris. Use the solutions and equipment above to clean the printer bed properly since they are easy to find and use.