Custom removable bed system for Taz 5

I have developed a removable glass bed system for the Taz 5. (probably work for the 4 also). It is an aluminum tray with magnets designed to hold a square glass bed with ABS handles for easy removal while still hot post print. I use hairspray and an enclosure, which works fantastic. But there is no reason why you couldn’t cover the glass with PEI (Or anything else) if you like it (I hated the PEI bed).

This is a huge advantage over stock because you can remove your printouts to let them cool quickly, and removing the part will not throw the printer bed out of level. You can also use multiple glass trays and swap them out as you want.

I will be offering kits for sale here and on thingverse soon.

Kits will probably run in the neighborhood of $400. The only mod to the stock printer (besides the obvious removal of the stock bed) is drilling some 3/16" holes (4x) in the existing aluminum Y travel plate for mounting of my aluminum leveling tray. Leveling is achieved via two knurled thumb screws at opposite corners located under the stock Y travel tray. The glass is borosilicate and can be 1/8" 3/16" or 1/4" thick. Thicker is sturdier, but takes longer to heat. Also the Z knob adjustment screw needs to be modded taller since this tray sits slightly higher than stock. User installation can be done in less than an hour. Minor tweaks to the heated bed PID value is all that is needed in firmware. Otherwise the printer operates as stock.

The entire bed is clear of obstruction so the entire print surface can be used regardless of type of extruder or even a dual extruder. Nothing protrudes above the glass surface, anywhere.

PEI can be omitted (with the use of enclosure) so no more hopelessly stuck parts. Use hairspray for trouble free adhesion.
But any type of surface can easily be added to the glass.

Multiple glass trays (perhaps with different surfaces) can be kept on hand and swapped in seconds. The only adjustment would be the Z knob. Actual level would never change with change of glass bed since the leveling portion never leaves the printer.

Glass held in place by powerful magnets pulling down creating friction with the silicon heater pad which is in direct contact with the glass. The tray won’t move unless you want it to.

Easy to remove glass beds can be lifted out immediately post print without tools for quick cooling and MUCH easier part removal, all without altering bed level in the printer.

Leveling the bed is much easier than stock. Can be done in just a few minutes.

See photos in post below. Please reply so I can gauge interest and answer your questions.

I would have to see it, but $400 sounds somewhat pricey.

I will have some photos soon.

It’s more expensive than I would have liked. But when you consider the dual extruder for the Taz is $495, a similar price for this is not crazy.

The aluminum tray is a precision cnc machined part. And then the process of attaching the handles to the glass is a little labor intensive and a little pricey, because there is some prep and specialized adhesives used to handle the heat and still be a very strong connection. It also requires some care to get right, making it a slow process.

I am also using aerogel insulation in the design, to improve heat flow to the glass and away from the tray. I could use standard insulation, but it’s relatively thick and then you lose some Z print size. Perhaps this is not a big deal.

I could lower the price further if I offered the kit in hobbiest form, where the end user would have to do alot of the assembly work, gluing the insulation and heat pad to the tray, and printing and gluing the handles and magnets. But not all of the adhesives I use are sold to retail, because some are quite dangerous to breathe. So I’m not sure how to get around that.

You should consider an aluminum bed option. I really really like my aluminum print bed. Ill avoid further price comments until I see pictures.

Here’s some pics of the prototype

I had a similar upgrade like this for my Makerbot Replicator 2x and I loved it. That one only cost $175. I know the print bed is a lot smaller but you have to somehow bring down the price. In the meantime I would rather stick to glass and binder clips.

Well that’s it in a nut shell. Twice the aluminum, twice the machining, twice the glass, twice the heater and so on. There’s your $350. And then there is more work to do to build them, there’s your other $50. I could do the R2 upgrade for $175 too. Also my glass rests directly on the silicon heater, instead of the heater being under the tray. I place insulation between the heater and the aluminum, so that most of the heat is directed to the glass. There’s more expense there as well. The silicon pad against the glass prevents slipping, which some had an issue with on the R2 upgrade.

Most of the parts you can buy on your own so I could supply just the machining and let the user do the rest. Perhaps that’s what I’ll do. But gluing the handles to the glass is critical, and I don’t know what kind of results you would get long term with off the shelf adhesives. On the R2 upgrade the glass is custom cut and provides a nice place (protrusions on each end) for handles. On my prototype I am using square glass from McMaster-Carr. If I get them cut special with handle tabs, then I won’t need such a high quality adhesive for the handles. But if I go that route I will need to get an idea of quantity. That’s what this thread is for.

Also I have to remove alot of aluminum on the tray otherwise weight becomes a problem. The R2 Y axis is on the print head not on the bed. So for the Taz, we have to deal with a potential of too much inertia, so the weight is really important. So my aluminum machining is optimized for weight, which translates into alot more machining cost.

If you itemize some of the components it might be interesting.

I’m happy with the PEI… would not want to go back glass, tape, kapton, ABS slurry, hair spray, glue sticks. But if the bubbling isn’t resolved before my warranty expires, I’m moving onto a PrintinZ Zebra plate. At which point an insulated aluminum plate with heater might be attractive… depending on the surface tolerances if they transfer through the silicone heater.

Well like the saying goes, if you like your PEI you can keep your PEI… except in this case it’s true. You can add any surface you want to the glass. The huge advantage to this system is you can remove parts faster, easier and not possibly impact level while prying the part from the surface, since you are away from the machine while doing it. It seemed like every other time I removed a part from my stock Taz I had to redo the level which had gone bad because of all the wrestling. PEI was too effective in that regard.

It may end up with me just selling the aluminum base and a list of materials and instructions. That’s fine because the assembly work is a slow process and if I can avoid it all the better. But you will find that this won’t save you much money, since between order minimums on adhesives, magnets, insulation, specialty electrical connectors and the crimpers required, shipping costs, etc., that you may spend more than $400 to build the system. Unless you already have a lot of the tools necessary on hand. My molex crimpers cost $400+ by themselves, for example. The adhesive primer in which I use probably about .001 fluid oz to build the bed, comes in a $35 bottle that probably is enough for 1000 beds. But you can’t buy less of it. The list goes on and on.

Yeah… I can’t imagine the assembly of that plates are fun. I’d be interested in an aluminum bed w/ heater and making the switch to a removable PEI/Ultem type plate… Printinz leading the pack because its removable and springy to pop the object off.

I hear ya about the PEI. My previous printer had an aluminum bed on a 12V heater… terrible and eventhough it was 8x8, it would take 12min to get to 90C. And I went through three aluminum beds which were just a tad unlevel… but it reeked havoc on adhesion. Your idea of using a glass plate is on target.

Lulzbot seems to be getting their act together with the PEI. The latest bed (#2 for me) looks a lot better than my first two from a PEI adhesion to the glass perspective.

Using dial guages, I can accurately set the nozzle height so prints pop off at 50C with a little help. If its a large object with a lot of surface area, I’ll put in .2-.3 on the Z-Offset in the slicing software. The key was getting a quantitative measurement for the nozzle to bed distance. Now I just snap on the dial gauges (I use two on either side of x-carriage), check the measurement is constant while moving across the Y-axis of bed, and set the adjust the Z-endstop until homing makes my measured number appear on the dial guage. Still need to do a one time dial-in of the Z height with a business card or metal feeler.

Ok Uploaded to Thingverse!

A complete parts list is included with source of supply recommendations, approximate pricing and other information. STL files are uploaded to make the handles and z stop extension.

A complete instruction manual is coming.

I have decided to just sell the aluminum leveling bed. Complete kits will not be available. The only way to keep the prices down was to have the end user make the kit themselves. Sorry for the inconvenience, but if I had to kit and assemble this it would be crazy expensive.

The machined aluminum leveling tray will be available for $150.80 plus shipping. See the thingverse page for information (in the zipped docx file). Please wait until Monday September 21st, 2015, prior to trying to place an order for the bed.

I’ve attached the DOCX file to this post too, for your convenience. (27.9 KB)

Hey billy, I really want to do this upgrade for my taz 6. However, I tried ordering it from amazon and it seems that you do not ship to Singapore.

It’s going to cost extra for shipping. Also it’s never been tested on a Taz 6. It will work, but there will be some differences you’ll have to account for at assembly specifically with regards to the auto-leveling and possibly a few other areas, that didn’t exist in earlier versions of the Taz. But I’m certain you can get it to work with a little custom thinking. So if you’re not comfortable with that I would advise against doing the upgrade.

You won’t be able to buy it through Amazon, you’ll have to buy it direct from Tandemloc, Inc. and make special arrangements for shipping. Go to to get their contact information and they can discuss it with you.