PET films vs PEI sheets

Hi, folks!

This is my first post here.

Recently, bought a new TAZ 4.1 printer at Amazon. The first print (little octopus) was succeeded on the PET film using IC3D ABS filament at 230C/85C. Those limps were held down flat during the entire printing. A good result as compared to the sample that came with the package. However, the next printings started showing some curling up around the edges on the bottom. Someone here on the board suggested PEI sheet to try. So, bought one, 12 by 12 in^2 and 1/8 in. thick at Amazon. Yet, I still got some curling up. The same settings as before. Is there a way to prevent the happenings?

PS Bought the filament at Amazon as Lulzbot does not supply them at Amazon. (I am a prime member with free 2-day shipping.)

Try whipping up some ABS glue like it says in the manual. If anything, I’d say ABS glue + the stock PET film might stick even more than is needed (just take your time with the included knife to pry up around all the edges).

If you are getting curling on PEI you are not close enough to it with the starting layer, or you need a bit more bed heat.

I’ve had good luck using the washable Elmer’s glue stick with ABS on PET film - might give that a try.

Thanks for all the tips.

The stock PET film is gone. Now using 1/8 in. PEI sheet. I’ll try UHU glue stick next time.

Ordered 3M abrasive transfer tape, 1 in. wide, to replace binder clips. Plan to mount the sheet with 11 strips. Bad idea?

If you are having adhesion problems with PEI then either your machine is not properly level, your hotend is too high or you forgot to remove the protective backing. Don’t go mucking it up with glue, that is the whole point of PEI.

It takes a little getting use to but once you have it down it works wonders. I have at least 100 prints now suing it both in PLA and ABS and I will never go back to slurry, glue’s or hairspray.

As a side note, we’re looking into stocking filament at Amazon. It will be a bit though.

LulzJuice for sticking! (ABS/Acetone). Works great on PET. :slight_smile:


PEI is the bomb. PET can suck it!! I faught with that PET stuff for months. I constantly had to replace it after is slowly got more and more damaged. I only wish I had done the swap WAY sooner. Guaranteed that anyone who switches to PEI will NEVER switch back. I can print PLA and ABS on PEI all day long and 20+ hour prints with zero issue. There just isn’t any comparison.

There are some PEI setups that don’t work, but in general, it is just awesome. We are using it on the LulzBot Mini. It is really expensive though, which is painful. It seems to work with a broad range of materials too.

Just to add my two cents… I noticed that the PLA was sticking better to the center of the PEI bed, where I had printed more objects. I recalled seeing somewhere in the community that a light sanding was recommended. The finest I had on hand was 800. After jut a light sanding and wipe down with an alcohol wipe, my bed full of objects are sticking very nicely.

You’re right, markz. They’ve been saying 1500-2000 grit, which seems is not easy to get unless you’re near a fine-woodworking or similar store, or Amazon delivers :smiley:.

Here’s the 3x4" MicroMesh pads I am using:

The MicroMesh pads come with a grit-number translation table, so their numbers are clearly not standard. I started out using the 3200 (tan) one, and that helped a little. A tad frustrated, I then tried the 1500 (rust, the roughest in the set). That improved it, but it surface seemed just a little too rough. A bit ago I used the 4000-grit (Teal) to move it to a nice consistent, smooth, almost-polished feeling surface. There’s definitely SMALL-sized tooth there, as a current print seems to be working great. Well, I’ll go look…yup, 2 hours in and no peel-up yet.

Tangential: these pads are really quite cool. I’ve taken a (flat) 3d-printed surface (not the bottom), and polishing with each grit slowly and consistently, once you get up to the 12000 grit (gray) pad, it’s darn close to glass-smooth and mirror-finish. It was surprised the ABS could or would get that well-finished using just abrasives. Anyway, good stuff.



I used too much and cracked my glass bed! The part I was trying to pry off had a large surface area. I would not recommend using gluestick and PET tape, from experience. I have heard okay things about ABS/Acetone solution, but my concern is: I don’t want to deal with Acetone. So, I had to figure out how to make PEI work for me, and it’s way better once you convert your process a little.

@PEI 1/8in thick.
I’ve found PEI amber glossy finish to be the superior material. FYI, I’m printing ABS at 85F on the bed. It is possible that 1/8in is too thick, if you have the glossy amber material. The 0.063 amber glossy sheet I am using is the ‘amber glossy’ on both sides sheet. I also order the ‘natural finish’ and it DOES NOT WORK, fyi! Do not buy the ‘natural finish’ PEI. I also used gluestick on the natural finish with no luck. I absolutely could not get it to stick to that surface. Even though the surface appears ‘sanded’ in texture the high glossy amber finish is amazingly superior (contrary to what you would think).

My findings:
I’ve also been doing this over the past few weeks. And as you described there is a natural ‘bow’ to the sheet. So, if the bow goes face down on the glass and you pull the edges down it works excellent. However, if you do it the other way it will distort the bottom of your print.

Also, because of the heat diffusion on the 0.063 PEI amber sheet that is bulldog binder clipped to the top of my glass bed, I had to disconnect the print fan on the extruder, so that my small parts would not ‘pop up’ or ‘curl’ off the bed. Also, disconnecting the print fan dramatically improved the quality of all the prints on top of the 0.063 PEI amber sheet that is just clamped to the print bed. I now get all perfectly level prints which pop right off when you bend the sheet.

Another thing… if the bed is too hot:
When you flex the PEI sheet, be sure to look at the bow after you flex it. I have found that when my thick PEI sheet heats up the bow can reverse when you flex it while hot. So be sure that you’re placing the sheet bow down when you go to replace it. Also, applying the PEI sheet while the glass bed is still hot will cause the bow to increase. I have found for best results to let the bed cool to below 35F before reapplying the sheet.

And the edges of the bed:
On my printer, the best print seems to be in the center of the print bed. The edges of the 0.063 cool too quickly and I can get parts that pop off or have flaws and unevenness. I’m currently blaming this on the thickness of the PEI and the lack of an enclosure around the heat bed. The temperature of my house can fluctuate over night and this maybe the source of most of my 6+ hour print issues.

I have another 0.040 PEI amber sheet on the way. My hope is that it will solve all my probs(?).