BuildTak - a new 3d print surface?

Hi everyone,

Well here’s the link-

So I was wandering if anyone tried this, or planning on to.
This is suppose to be something new, I’ve ran into them when checking out the participants in 3d printshow London

It is a bit pricy but could be good.

I bought a sheet of BuildTak about the same time I bought my sheet of PEI. The BuildTak is adhesive-backed, so you’re kind of committing to it for a while when you use it, so I thought I’d try the PEI first. The PEI works very well, but I had a few long ABS objects that lifted and warped with the PEI. Maybe I needed more experience with the PEI, but I didn’t want to waste any more ABS, so I decided to install the BuildTak.

With BuildTak, it’s much easier to get a print to stick. In fact, it’s easy to get a print to stick so well that it’s difficult to remove. You need to follow the directions with zeroing the height, and practice a bit to get just the right amount of stick. Those long ABS parts stuck well and came out perfectly flat.

I used BuildTak for several weeks, and I wanted to see how long it would last, to see if I could justify the price. I put a few dents in it while removing some pieces, but I never tore it like I tended to do with the green PET. Also, the BuildTak is much easier to apply and remove than the PET. I carefully applied the BuildTak, and I didn’t get any air bubbles at all, so I didn’t even need to use a card to smooth it out, as suggested by the instructions.

After several weeks and maybe a few dozen prints, I noticed that there seemed to be a bit of ABS stuck on the surface that I couldn’t remove by scraping. So I dabbed at it with a rag with acetone to try to clean the surface. I totally forgot that you’re not supposed use acetone on BuildTak. I put a nice glossy shine on the surface where I was cleaning it, contrasting with the satin-like normal finish of the BuildTak. Then I remembered. OOPS.

So then I removed the BuildTak and went back to my PEI sheet. Removing the BuildTak was also much easier than removing the PET film.

I mentioned my PEI usage on a PEI thread here but the thing I like about it is that I have a thin 0.063 sheet that I hold down with binder clips. After printing I can easily remove the PEI and flex it a bit to break the part loose. This is a great advantage, and I’d like to try something similar with BuildTak. I’m thinking of getting another BuildTak sheet and maybe a 0.063 sheet of cheaper plexiglass, and adhere the BuildTak to the plexiglass. Then I can try removing and flexing the BuildTak to break parts loose. If/when I get to this I’ll update this thread.

There is always a question of having to recalibrate the bed.
Is it a must do thing after removing and flexing the surface?


We purchased some BuildTak sheets to try at work, and have had some mixed results. Parts do indeed stick to the surface, so much so that removal can be a real challenge. This surface is extremely dependent on the gap between the nozzle and the bed - too much gap, and things don’t stick. Too little gap, and you will not be able to remove the part without damaging something.

We’ve tried both ABS and PET+ as a build material, and had the same experience with both.

Yes, I do find that after removing a tightly-adhered object, the bed usually does need to be adjusted again, just as when using PET. With my removable PEI sheet, this is less of an issue, but it often does still need some adjustment. This is why I’m hoping to experiment with a removable BuildTak when I have the time.

I did pull the trigger and got a sheet before Christmas. I have printed only in HIPS and ABS and so far my experience has been positive. Things stick very well, but you need to leave a little more head space than other surface materials. But I found this easy to set, use the paper, feel a slight friction but no paper bunching on push, and you got it.

The installation of the sheet wasn’t as easy for me. I followed the instructions, cleaned the glass with alcohol, using a credit card to smooth it on. It looked good, but on the first bed heat up I got what I would call bubbles (less than 0.1mm high). Over the weeks the number has increased from about six to close to 20 bubbles, but still all very shallow. I contacted BuildTak and they sent me another but I haven’t installed it yet. While the bubbles do scare me, so far they haven’t effected the adhesion of a print.

For short objects, I print without a brim and it works great. For taller objects I found that sharp corners will still lift, so I just add a brim and I have never had a lift with this.

To remove the object, I use a shallow plastic wedge without sharp corners worked very well (I printed one). Just lay it flat on the surface, slide under the object/brim just a little, work it around several edges, and then push the wedge in and the object just pops. Not much effort, the larger objects seem easier to remove than smaller ones.

As I try more materials, I will provide an update.