Prints are not sticking well to PEI (Taz 5)

I dont get it, everyone else on the internet heralds PEI as a miracle material. I personally cant get anything to stick well.

Ive leveled and releveled my bed until I am blue. I’ve experimented with the Z end stop and tried to mash the first layer down farther into the bed. I’ve cleaned and recleaned with isopropyl alcohol. I’ve even tried sanding the dang thing (lightly with 2000 grit).

How are people complaining about parts sticking “to well”. I’m pretty much forced to use a Brim on every print and pray to the the 3D printing gods that it will stick.

I tried contacting technical support and they pretty much copy pasted the user manually to me and called it a day. I’m at my wits end and I’m about to send this thing back as I am still within my 30 day window.

Generally I am printing at 240C nozzle temp with a 110 bed temp. I saw Lulzbots post about using 85 C bed temp… yeah right, nothing would even partially stick at that temp.

What initial layer heights does everyone use? I’ve tried going smaller but it seemed to stick even less. The preset 0.425 initial layer height seems to work best.

Hmm… make sure you’re printing with ABS. :smiley:

My ABS nozzle ooze sticks to the PEI unintentionally… Everything you’re doing seems correct. You’re waiting for the bed to heat to 110C, maybe try 245C for extrusion temps… though 240 should be fine.

You’ve sanded the PEI, cleaned with IPA. Lowered the nozzle. Don’t know what to tell you…

What’s the normal layer height you’re using? If using the .5 nozzle, try a layer height of .3 or .4… use 70-80% of the normal layer height for your initial height.

If you have tried all of those things, woo are either too high off the bed at start, massively underextruding, or have a heated bed with an issue. To start, go buy an inexpensive point and shoot infrared thermometer from your local tool or auto store, should be around $35. Point that at your bed and see if it’s truly getting up near temperature. If you are + / - 5 or so degrees you are probably fine electrically. If that checks out, you need to check your filament.

Measure your filament with a precise digital calipers, and make sure the diameter matches what is set in software. The default is usually around 3.0mm, and filament can vary from 2.85ish to 3.12mm wish, which can effect your extrusion diameter.

If that’s all ok, you may be too high up. Your starting layer thickness should be about 0.4mm, the stock 0.425mm works fine usually. Then you just adjust the nozzle closer until it sticks.

If you changed any of the stock settings, I would suggest nuking that profile and starting fresh. In particular there is a starting layer extrusion width setting somewhere that should be set to 200%. If that changed, set it back. You can lower that later to fix “elephant foot” but leave it there for now.

Aside from that, the only time I have seen pie not stick is with a bed that has oil residue on it.

If you can, post a picture of a print attempt so we can diagnose it better. Also of interest would be the bottom of a print attempt.

Also how are you leveling the bed, and to what point? Some methods work better than others.

Amazon carries the iGage digital calipers, I purchased the higher price one… $39 because it was more like the I had before that was made in Japan. It died 10 years later, cost to fix that one was 3x the cost of the iGage.

The IR thermometer, I got mine from Harbor Freight and it was $19.95 on sale of course.

When your handling your ABS be sure you wipe your fingers with alcohol to get the oil off. I buy denatured alcohol at the home improvement store, because I also use it with my laser engraving project cleaning.

I had problems with my Mini because the ABS was not sticking to the bed. It was User error in the file I was trying to do, not 100% level on the bottom. It worked fine after I fixed that, and I never changed anything in the Cura settings except the filament size and temperatures.

I’m pretty much using the default settings other than when i attempt to tweak things for better adhesion. I’ve been using 125% of line width for the first layer because this is the default, I will up it to 200% and try.

I’m now wondering if I am under extruding. Everything I read said I was over extruding - slightly rounded corners, holes a little to small ect. I will have to try upping my extrusion rate.

I know for a fact its not my Z height as I’ve experimented smashing it into the bed. I doubt its oil on the bed as after I clean it I will not touch it… I will not… because i’m having issues I’m religious about it.

I doubt its my bed temp as long prints tend to discolor the bottom of my natural colored filament.

Don’t go by hole size, holes are always going to be a bit too small (about 1mm to small on average).

So I may have been slightly under extruding… But it would have been minor seeing as all the upper layers if the print would turn out ok.

I reAdjusting flow rate and changed the first layer width to 200 percent. This seemed to help but I’m still having issues with larger prints.

I’m still getting curling on the edges/corners of large prints. I’m using a make shift enclosure until I get my “real” one built. I’ve been hot boxing it with the cardboard box it came in (it gets really hot in there! I worry as the stepper motor burned my hand when I touched it… Concerning but that is a different topic for another thread). Anyways, I’m doing everything everyone says and I’m still having these issues.

One thing I have noticed is that the center of the bed gets hot… Almost to hot as I noticed the bottom few layers getting “wavy” (getting to hot I assume) in a 3"x3" square. However it’s this center part that sticks amazingly! It’s only the stuff in the center of the bed that I can’t get off until it cools (which is ideal!) however it’s just that small area in the center of the bed.

Has anyone else noticed this issue? I set my bed at 110C and I’ve already had issues with natural filament discoloring for long prints. Not to mention those wavy lines of filament (although the bottom of the print did turn out fine despite those wavy lines of over heating).

What’s the solution? Should I just turn my bed up to like 120C? Keep in mind I’m printing in an “enclosure” already.

The only other idea would be to use ABS juice. I have seen others post about this despite the issue with PEI and acetone. But people have reported not having problems provided you apply it at room temp. I don’t want to ruin the PEI… But then it’s not really doing its job… Thoughts?

By the way, Thanks for all your help guys!

A possible solution is to replace the stock glass plate with a 3/16th aluminum plate. That spreads the heat completely evenly. You can see infrared pictures of it in the forum here somewhere.

Do you have the right filament diameter set in the slicing software?

So I have literally tried everything short of using ABS juice to try and get large parts to stick.

Its just not happening. I’ve got it all, first layer squish, leveled bed, brim, enclosure that stays at a steady 40C.

The only thing that seems to help is when I jack the bed temperature up to 115C, but even this doesnt get perfect warp free parts.

I still do not understand how people are having such easy perfect results.

I will say that the center of my bed sticks… the center actually is now sticking too well. I checked the bed level and the center is the same distances as the rest of the bed.

The only thing I can think of is that the center has been used more and thus it has some leftover ABS residue that is helping it stick.

I really dont want to use ABS juice because of the warnings that it might damage the PEI… but if I can make the rest of my bed stick as well as the center…

Currently my parts are defying physics by keeping the brim stuck but the part pulling up.

Also I’ve noticed my bed is starting to bubble, specifically it happens where these parts are lifting… perfect. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, the bubbles have since become more frequent and worse.

Also my bed came with all of these tiny little bubbles… I thought this was normal and it was suppose to come this way, but now I am questioning it.

If the lifting is much worse in one corner, the bed level is probably slightly off in that corner. You may need to re stick the pei sheet if the bubbles are getting too bad. They usually occur when you remove the part with too much force. If you do end up doing that, is recommend converting to an aluminum bed core. Transfers heat more evenly.

I have occasionally had adhesion issues with ABS. Most of them attributable to poor hygiene (forgetting to clean the bed after a PLA print for example. :blush: )

I have used ABS juice before with good results but have mostly abandoned that. I do use acetone rather than alcohol for cleaning the bed.

Your temp settings look okay. Is the material fan off for the first layer?

I’m not removing the print with force at all… These things arent sticking well remember. Plus I make sure the bed cools down to the recommended 50-60C before removing parts.

I’m fairly certain those bubbles are being caused by the print when it lifts/warps as they appear in the exact spot.

I’ve cleaned this bed until I was blue and it made no difference. I never touch it with my skin. Plus I feel like it gets worse every time i clean it. Seems like it sticks better the longer I let it go between cleanings (maybe because some ABS residue is being left behind and acting similar to an ABS slurry?)

Oh and lifting isnt happening any specific corner. Lifting is happening anywhere and everywhere on the bed outside of a 2-3 inch square from the center of the bed.

The center of the bed is magic… If anything prints stick overly well at the center of the bed.

Never use acetone to clean the bed surface it will attack the PEI.

Buy and use DNA to clean with, denatured alcohol. The isopropyl alcohol has a lot of water. Clean the bed and wipe down any of the filament you are touching with your fingers with the same stuff. Check the bed temperature with a IR thermometer, the temperature will vary across the bed somewhat. But never more than 10 deg C. It could be you have a bad heater… but you will never know unless you check it. All the posting in the world will not help until you do the actual readings.

Regardless of what you have been told on here you do not need to replace the heated build plate with anything other than the stock one. I have used the TAZ 5 and the Mini both have worked fine with ABS once you get past the learning curve. I just used the default settings or quick print mode. The only fan that should be running is the one cooling the extruder hot end, the mini squirrel cage blower.

I had problems with my Mini early on like your having, but it turned out the part I was trying to do was not drawn correctly (pilot error) once I posted the file here others caught my stupid mistake and I redid the file and all was well.

The Aluminum core heated bed works better than the glass one does. Period. There are thermal images of it in the “fun with thermal imaging cameras” thread if you are interested. While you do not “need” to replace the bed with a better one, It’s a viable solution for someone who is already having issues with their current one, as it works much better.

He could be having bed heater issues, but unless he checked the heated bed for temperature he will never know. Its entirely possible something is wrong with either the heater or the way that it was installed. If the $2200 plus shipping TAZ 5 has a design flaw with the heated build plate then 1,000’s of other users would be having the same problem. Re-engineering a product should not be the end users problem or a final solution.

PS ; An after thought, I wonder if the OP could have a bad roll of filament… if he checks the temperature and its within specs I would try new roll.

Sorry to hear you’re still struggling with this…

Cleaning the bed with IPA / DNA may be the ticket… and give the PEI a light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper. Could be something other than oil on the PEI…

Thanks for all the great responses. I have even been working with some of you privately via PM. I have come to the conclusion it’s not me or my settings.

This isn’t difficult stuff. I’m a mechanical design engineer by profession for Petes sake (I know that doesn’t mean anything and I can still make mistakes. But I’m just pointing out this is in my wheel house).

I’ve tried the sanding and the cleaning. But it doesn’t help or fix anything. Ive concluded it can’t be any of the things mentioned because I’ve got perfection at the center of my plate. (frusting because I got the taz for the large build volume and currently I might as well only have a 5 by 5 build plate). And I’ve ruled out it being a bed leveling issue.

So the question that needs to be answered is why does nothing stick beyond the center of the bed?

Bed leveling issue? No, I’ve checked that, and the bed does not not seem to be bowed.

I did finally start to think that it might be my bed heater. The only thing that seems to help is cranking the bed temp up to 115. I should have bought a IR thermometer long ago but I kept putting it off.

I purchased one last night and and took some readings. Honestly the readings beyond the center of the bed are all over the place. I cranked it up to 115 and everything around a 2" perimeter from the edge seems to fluctuate. I’d get readings of 120C at some places and then 95C at other. Even more id measure 110 at a spot and then remeasure a minute later this and get 85C… So 85C to 115C is a huge discrepancy in my mind

Bed heating does seem a bit off on your machine. Contact LB support, they are good about replacements… in this case, they’ll probably ship a new bed (from the looks of your bed pics, it might be bubbling also).