BuildTak Flexplate System

Has anyone tried the Buildtak Flexplate System in their TAZ? Is it a good solution?

I’ve been trying to get something like that to work on my mini. The problem I’m running into are the leveling disks. If you can turn that off and manually level the bed, I don’t see it being any different from any other printer.

I was going to … until I was watching a YouTube video (one of the guys I follow in 3D printing, but I don’t remember which). They had the BuildTak system but said they no longer use it – since they discovered “Magigoo”.

So I looked into Magigoo… it’s really cool stuff. I flipped the bed over and now print on the glass side using Magigoo.

The stuff probably sticks “about the same” as using PVA glue-stick … but the cool bit happens when the build plate cools at the end of the print. It seems to expand/contract based on heat so as the print cool, it self-releases the part.

If I’m in a hurry but I let the plate cool to say… 40°C then I might have to tug at it a bit to release. But if I’m patient and just ignore the printer and come back an hour later after it’s nice and cool, I can pretty much just pick the part up (it’s “as if” it was never glued down.)

I use the standard Magigoo (for my PLA & TPU … the standard stuff works with ABS, PLA, PETG, HIPS, ASA, & TPU) and I have Magigoo PC for when I print with PolyMax PC filament (the bed is at a much hotter temp for PC … so they change the formula a bit).

Comes in a blotter bottle with a sponge-tip. I thought I’d be going through it so I ordered two bottles… turns out I’ve barely made a dent in the first bottle (and that’s shared between two printers). I often don’t bother to re-apply between prints. But it comes completely off the bed with nothing more than water.

That’s interesting Tim. I had been looking at other options because glue stick was a pain to clean and deal with. Doe any of the Magigoo stay on the part?

I had previously been using Elmer’s “purple” glue stick. It’s special property is that before it dries… you can see where you applied it because it is purple. The white stuff goes on nearly invisible so you may go over the same area thinking you didn’t apply enough. The purple stuff is easy to see … but dries completely clear (it’s also easy to spot if you completely cleaned the plate because when you hit it with a damp towel it reverts to it’s purple color. So if you missed a spot… it shows.)

But Magigoo releases MUCH better than Elmer’s. I always have a bit of a tug-of-war with Elmer’s to release a part … at any temperature. Magigoo will put up a tug-of-war while it’s still hot… but once it’s cooled, parts pop right off (sometimes they don’t even pop… sometimes I lift them off as if they were never stuck).

Magigoo is completely clear. I wipe it anyway but… if I don’t wipe it I think I can feel the grippy residue (the build plate has a gummy feel … it’s a very thin layer, but it has a grippy quality to the touch in that your finger wont glide across the surface like it would on bare glass. It is completely invisible (wet or dry) - not cloudy or milky.

I don’t like cleanup at all on parts. Even if it’s a little bit it becomes a hassle when doing production parts. The other thing I’m after is a textured build plate so the parts don’t look so glossy when printed on glass.

I broke my glass and picked this up. So far I like it. The first print required me to raise the z offset really high to .9. I’ve been using it with a glue stick and so far it’s stuck pretty well. I’ve just flex and put something under. It makes things a lot easier to remove from the surface.

I found buildtak the only thing that flexible materials reliably stick to. You will need to adjust your z axis offset by minimum .5 mm or the nizzle will ruin the buildtak and smear at the minimum

I’m having good adhesion with using PLA with a gluestick.

I was going to use a buildtak magnetic bed, but went with the whambam one instead, on both of the taz 5’s in my lab. Students managed to break the glass on both of the taz5’s. The PEI is pretty good, but we are starting to use glue stick with it, after about 2 months of use. The metal plate and magnet are so much better than glass, it’s not funny.

This is the kind of results I was hoping to hear. If you use glue stick do you need to wait for the bed to cool down before flexing off the part? How about w/o glue stick?

Cool! After I saw your post I went to the Wham Bam website. It looks like it might be a good alternative to BuildTak. Was there something that made you go w/ the Wham Bam? Price? Functionality?

I haven’t tried without a glue stick. It was more instinct to use it. I was able to get it going really quickly. Removing the part was awesome. You flex it both left and right, front and back, and that gets it most the way off. From there I just flexed a side and put the standard knife under the print and pop. Done. I like it. I’m using it on the modular bed.

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Do you notice any issues w/ print quality due to the increased weight of the TAZ y-axis from the Lulzbot Modular Bed Steel Plate + the BuildTak Flex System on top?

So far no but this is a recent change.

I was thinking about switching to the Buildtak flexpate with PEI. The idea was to use magnets on the underside of the modular steel plate (& heater) to secure the flexplate while keeping it removable.

Never finished the transition, but was able to determine that neodynium magnets stick to the underside of the LB’s modular bed… and still stuck as far as I know.

The weight of the modular steel bed (non-etched, gen1) & heater pad causes the it to sag away from the glass. So the remaining question would be whether the BuildTak Flexplate is rigid enough to mitigate the sagging and create a level print surface… maybe thicker PEI on both sides of the flexplate. Anyway, the magnets are promising, but a few things yet to check.

I have a magnetic Buildtak flexplate that came with another brand printer I bought about 6 months ago and here is my experience with that.

When I first got it, it worked so well that it made me think of putting the flexplate system on my 2 Minis. I didn’t and I’m glad I waited. While the Buildtak side works great for low temp filaments, you have to flip the plate over and use the metal side for high temp filaments. It works reasonable well for smaller prints on the metal side (with glue stick or other adhesive) but larger prints can warp because it can pull the edges of the flexplate up away from the bed. I also experienced this with a few larger low temp prints on the Buildtak side. I don’t know if it is because the flexplate is too thin or the magnets aren’t strong enough. Also, the Buildtak wears out fairly fast. If you do repetitive prints in the same place on the bed ( I run the printers 24/7), the Buildtak will develop small tears along the edge of the printed object. I’ve replaced the flexplate 4 times in 6 months. So I replaced the Builtak on one of the metal plates with 4mm Borosilicate glass and have no warping or wear at all anymore.

And +1 for Magigoo, Magigoo PC, & Magigoo PA on glass. I’ve been through every adhesive out there and so far, Magigoo works on every type of filament we use including PLA, ABS,ASA, PC,PC/ABS, CF/PC, PC Plus & Max, Nylon, and CF/Nylon. And no, I get no compensation from Magigoo other than anxiety relief. :wink:

As for the Minis, I decided to stick with the modular beds. We run the high temp filaments on one with the glass up and everything else on one with the PEI up. We replaced the regular PEI sheet with a 4 mil PEI sheet and haven’t had any PEI bubbles or tearing in over 3 years.

Very interesting results. I tried Magigoo and found I needed to apply two coatings (waiting a few minutes in between each one) to keep square corners down on large parts. I was prepared to live w/ the prep time involved, but noticed brush / dauber strokes in the Magigoo top surface which transferred to the bottom of the parts. I need a smooth surface on the bottom of my parts. Before Magigoo I tried glass, but it does not do the trick of holding down the parts perfectly at all corners even w/ a level bed. PEI leaves a very dull finish that doesn’t match well w/ the rest of the part.

Have you found a way to get a smooth surface w/ no brush strokes on the bottom of your parts?

Good info on the Buildtak flexplate. Did you try their PEI surface instead of their normal surface? You’ve got me thinking about a thicker PEI to make the flexplate more rigid to use with the LB modular bed.

Price, mostly. They also came thru with a quote faster. I think the Buildtak magnet may be better, but I haven’t seen one, and am guessing that it’s built up of small magnets on a board. The whambam magnet is a thick brown flexible magnet. I haven’t had any problems with it at all, even with big prints, printing back to back. I do only use PLA and the bed set at 60.