How long does PEI sheet usually last?

Just wondering how long the PEI sheet typically lasts for most folks? I’ve had my TAZ 5 for maybe 5 or 6 weeks, maybe around 120-150 hours of printing, and I’m starting to notice it coming up and bubbling in a few places… Also accepting tips on how to fix this without buying a new sheet every couple months?


Give Lulzbot a call. They may replace the bed.

Make sure to follow the guidelines which LB posts regarding part removal in short:

  • Wait for bed to cool below 60C.
  • Remove part at 50C.

In addition to that, I’d recommend a set of artist knives or specific tools to aid in removal. I especially like the wide tool, which allows you to get under the print and lift up… without prying.

I’ve owned my TAZ5 for just over a year, and the bubbling has happened 3 times. LB didn’t replace the bed the third time I reported it. So I’ve been printing on a bubbled surface for the past 2 months, its actually been okay. I picked up a slightly thicker PEI sheet from Amazon and plan to stick it on an extra glass-only heat bed purchased from i-t-w.

Love the PEI, but I also have a Zebra plate and Fleks3D plate to try as a removable bed option…

Love the PEI, but I also have a Zebra plate and Fleks3D plate to try as a removable bed option…

How would you compare the Zebra plate and Fleks3D plate compared to PEI?

I am still having issues with abs with PEI (just upgraded from not having PEI)

I’ve been using a Zebra on my Mini for a few weeks. It takes a little getting used to, but works quite well. As it’s not glued down, it’s not as level as PEI is. That’s not a big deal for most people, but for some uses it could be a problem. I’ve printed over the whole thing now, and I don’t have problems once I dialed in the z-offset. The auto-leveling on the Mini complicates it a bit, but you won’t have that issue on a Taz.

I’ve printed HIPS, ABS, and PETG on it. Everything sticks well, once I got the offset and temperatures dialed in right. It releases easier than PEI, and so far I haven’t had to remove it and flex it to get parts removed. If you get one, start with lower bed temps than you are used to. Apparently, too high can cause parts to become stuck far too well. I have found setting the software to about 60C works well. For the same reason, start a little further away than you would with PEI. It doesn’t seem to need the first layer quite as smashed down as PEI does.

I’ve got it held down with 4 binder clips, “medium” size from Office Max. It seems to hold well. On a Taz, you might be able to get a couple more on it if you need them.

Good insight and starting point.

I’ve been stretching out my old PEI, so haven’t put the Zebra plate or Fleks3D on the bed. Both would need the corners trimmed to accommodate the bed fingers that hold the current PEI+glass+heater combo.

Though if the Zebra doesn’t need to be removed every time for part removal, I may just use the bed fingers to hold the Zebra plate down.

I’ll probably create a new slicing profile with a Z-offset to accommodate the Zebra… or a separate one for the Fleks3D plate to facilitate switching between glass, PEI (if I ever decide to go back) and the new plates.

Removable / Replaceable plates seems much more serviceable if the PEI bubbling is inevitable. It would be nice to hear LB/AO experiences since they run a fleet of machines.

That’s what I do. Save a new profile with the Z-offset for the zebra. It makes it easier to switch back and forth.

I think the PEI can last a good long time in many cases. I think mine bubbled due to high temperature combined with nylon warping. And that I’m new to 3D printing and likely made some mistakes with part removal. I like the PEI, it works well. I don’t like it glued down though. It makes it hard to replace. I might get a thicker one and try it clamped down like I did with the zebra.