I have just started printing with a Taz 6. Started with PLA and everything prints nicely. I need to print parts with higher temperature stability and have bought a reel of Polymaker PC-Plus (Makralon). This comes with a sheet of BuildTak however I’m reluctant to stick it on the bed without some confidence that I can get it off again. In the mean time I have tried printing with the PC-Plus just relying on PVA applied to the bed. Unfortunately I get bad bed adhesion with significant lifting at the corners. Can anyone offer any advice before I take the plunge and use the BuildTak sheet?
Personally, I never had good luck with any PVA glue. Instead, I tried the Wolfbite MEGA (for PC and ABS) and that was it. Also the Wolfbite Nitro for Nylons. Saved me every time. Even though both are supposed to be applied on glass, I put them on the PEI every time and it works just fine. And the best of all, is that they can both come out very easily with water. Just spray or pour just a bit of water and wipe it off with a paper towel and you’re good. Finish it off with some isopropyl and you’re perfect.
I print almost exclusively in Polycarbonate - and I have used Polymaker’s PC-Plus. First note, PC-Plus/Makrolon breaks easily (but is extremely well behaved) compared to Village Plastics PC that Lulzbot sells (I was online just to order two more Lulzbot PC filament). Anyway…
Be careful with the adhesive you use with PC-Plus. Due to the thinness of the PEI surface on the Taz, the adhesion can tear the PEI sheet right off the heated bed as your part cools. Elmer’s purple school glue did just that on mine as I was printing the Titan mount in the attached photo. The photo also shows my thicker PEI sheet replacement.
PC-Plus will print well, but the heated bed will need a higher temperature to firmly attach the piece (go 5 degrees below Makrolon’s glass transition temperature) and an enclosure. My dirt-cheap enclosure is an Ikea-hack.
In the photo, you can see that I’ve upgraded my Taz 5 to have an E3D v6 nozzle to print up to 350C and Titan, positioned exactly where the old one used to be, so there is no need to reposition the bed or anything else. What you cannot see is that I have modified the bed, it is now AC powered, with grounding and a SSR - and can exceed 200C (but the rest of the parts wouldn’t survive that). I don’t use any sort of glue or tape. I just follow the filament’s glass transition temperature and it sticks.
I have tried running PC-Plus without using any glue but raising the bed temperature from the recommended 80C to 107C (5 deg below the glass transition temperature). The first part that I made stuck to the bed and printed without distortion. The second has curled up at one corner. So a mixed result.
Short of using the WolfBite adhesive is there anything else that I can try/
I’m glad it worked out for you without too much of a hassle at the end.
Now, from my experience, the benefit of using glues, is that I can keep the bed temperature below 100C. And I want to do that because I found out the hard way that working the bed higher for long time, leads to premature aging of the 3M 468MP (double sided adhesive) which in turn leads to formation of bubbles between the PEI sheet and the glass. So far, my answer to this has been a thicker PEI sheet from McMaster-Carr and glues that keep the parts and the bed temperature down. And when these glues are water soluble then I have a winner: easy on - easy off, clean and clear
the glass transition temperature is 148C. However the Polymaker manual that comes with the PC-Plus filament says the HBP temp should be around 80C. That is exactly why a lot of people are having problems - the instructions are plain wrong.
A higher AC powered heated bed with SSR will be required.
My suggestion for a stock Taz:
Clean your PEI with rubbing alcohol, use an enclosure (even a draft can curl your prints), heat up the bed to 110C at least and yes use Wolfbite Mega. PC Plus should stick well, but be very careful to watch your print as soon as it is done because, as I mentioned, your thin PEI sheet can be damaged upon cooling (which happened to me using plain Elmer’s purple school glue).
The E3D Titan mount in the picture is PC-Plus. You can zoom in to see for yourself. With the instructions given, and with purple glue or Wolfbite Mega, the surface of your object that touched the bed will appear almost glass-like and somewhat transparent.