1What is BuildTak?
BuildTak is an ideal 3D printing surface for FFF 3D printers. We believe it offers a superior alternative to using masking tape or heat resistant films (such as kapton) on your FFF 3D printers build plate. BuildTak is a proprietary, patent-pending composition that comes in pre-cut, specially textured plastic sheets that adhere to your build platform with its heat-resistant adhesive backing.
2Why is BuildTak superior over masking tape, Glue and Kapton tape?
if you have ever dealt with either masking tape or kapton, one of the more common features you will notice is that the BuildTak sheets are more rigid and therefore much easier to install or apply to the bare build plate and much less susceptible to air bubbles getting trapped beneath the surface.
BuildTak is found to be more durable in nature so it can be more effective in protecting the build plate and with proper use can significantly outlast the typical cycle time of either kapton or masking tape.
Generally does not require any special treatment or finessing (ie. the use of hair spray, acetone slurry, printing rafts, etc). Once you have the crucial step of setting nozzle height just right, BuildTak just works. Through our experience we find that 3D printed objects stay put on the build surface for the duration of your build with fewer chances of curling. When the builds are complete, we find that builds pop right off with significantly less prying than what you are probably used to using these other alternatives.
BuildTak works for both ABS and PLA, which means if you are using a printer that can print in either of these materials it is not necessary to change the surface between builds. Heated print beds are not a problem, BuildTak is composed of high quality raw materials and is designed to withstand the high temperatures of a typical FFF 3D printer (i.e. 110-125C heated print bed)
If/when you are ready to replace the BuildTak sheet, it comes off clean and easy in one piece, leaving no residue behind from the adhesive
3How do I use BuildTak?
1. Wipe down your bare build platform making sure it is clean and free of debris
2. Trim the BuildTak sheet down to the size of your build plate (if not already)
3. Remove the white adhesive liner and apply the BuildTak sheet to your bare build plate. Start from one edge of the build plate and work your way to the other edge, smoothing the BuildTak sheet with a credit card or decal applicator as you go
4. Re-level your surface, making sure the nozzle heights are properly set to the approximate thickness of a standard piece of office paper. The key to a successful BuildTak experience is a level print bed and finding that nozzle height sweet spot.
4What are the best practices to ensure a long life for my BuildTak?
We recommend using a spatula or putty knife with smooth/rounded corners. Avoid using objects with sharp edges or corners that will accelerate the wear and tear of your BuildTak sheet and DO NOT use heavy duty solvents, such as acetone, to clean it, nothing stronger than rubbing alcohol.
Make sure the extruder nozzle for your FFF 3D printer is leveled and is NOT in direct contact with the BuildTak sheet. It is recommended to set your nozzle height to no less than the thickness of a standard sheet of office paper. When trying to achieve an optimal nozzle height, it is better to start with a looser nozzle height, run a test/leveling print and simply decrease the nozzle height in smaller increments until the test prints stick.
5What are the best settings for nozzle height and bed leveling?
When it comes to nozzle height, we have found that there is a sweet spot that allows for optimal adhesion/removal of printed parts. When trying to find that sweet spot it is better to start with the nozzle height on the high side and run a test print where you pay close attention to the first layer of the print. You will know right away if the nozzle is too far because the extruded filament will not stick and in that case, no harm done to the sheet. Just reduce the nozzle height slightly and try again until it sticks. For setting the nozzle height (i.e. the distance between your nozzle and the BuildTak sheet) we recommend using the thickness of a standard piece of office paper (or about .1mm) for ABS and a piece of card stock (or about .2mm) for PLA. with just a little bit of friction. Proper leveling should also increase the longevity of the sheet because it will more than likely mean you will not be subjecting it to as much wear and tear in the removal of the object.
6Why are my prints not sticking to the BuildTak?
This is generally caused when the extruder nozzle is too far away from the BuildTak sheet, try decreasing nozzle height slightly. Run a test print after each adjustment to confirm.
7Why are my prints sticking too well to the BuildTak, making it difficult to remove the builds afterwards?
This can happen when the extruder nozzle is too close to the BuildTak sheet. Try increasing the nozzle height slightly and make sure the print bed is level. Make sure you run a test print. When printing with ABS, try to remove the builds immediately after completion, reheating the heated print bed (for ABS) will also help to release larger builds that are sticking too well. Please note, a heated bed is not required for printing with PLA or removing parts printed with PLA.
8What Materials work with BuildTak?
Works with ABS, PLA, HIPS, PET+, Brick, Wood & Flexible (TPE) filaments; additionally we have had success with getting nylon and t-glase (PETT) to adhere when used with a thin layer of washable glue stick on the BuildTak surface.