Removing ABS parts from bed

What have you found are the best tools and techniques for removing ABS parts from your heated bed?

The “clam knife” that comes with the TAZ4 seems rather clumsy and I gouged the PET sheet with the first print.
Surely there’s something “better”?

Also, do you let the bed cool completely? Or do you try to pop part off quickly with temp closer to the 85 degree printing temp?

Any helpful hints would be highly appreciated. I’m and xtreme newb thrown into the deep end mainly due to my solidworks modeling skills.

I’d also REALLY appreciate tips for printing that first layer. What settings in the slic3r abs profile could be tweaked to improve first layer for somebody who is still learning how to level the bed for optimum success?

Thanks in advance.

(quick note: I’m using a brand new TAZ4 right out of the box, and ABS with the standard software Lulzbot recommends.)

I hold the part on the bed during printing using Elmers washable purple glue stick. Works great!
To remove the part I wait for the bed to cool completely and it usually pops right off with little effort.
I also found out the hard way that trying to pry it up while still hot is very difficult and more trouble than it’s worth.
Additionally, I found that a chisel (wood-working tool) helps pry up an edge of the print very easily.

I use a cheese slicer and a small part spatula that I got from a craft store that was intended for a circut vynal machine. These happen to be both of them. I put a piece of heavy tape over the slicy part of the cheese slicer to prevent it from marring the bed.

:bulb: I’m currently using a sheet of .030 PEI adhered to my glass plate with 3M 468 MP tape. I use the 2 inch tape (you can by 12 x 12 inch sheets though) because it is easier to work with. My first several prints of ABS stuck without any problems and once the bed was cool they flipped right off. Eventually I started having a little problems with adhesion of the ABS (one sheet of PEI still after making several prints) so I tried a little acetone/ABS solution. It seemed to help.

Also, Unlike the thin sheets of PET I was using, the PEI surface is hard and can take a bit of a beating so I clean it every now and then by scraping it with a single edged razor knife.

I am now printing PLA. Had a little issue with adhesion after a couple of prints so I increased my nozzle temperature to 190 and bed temperature to 80. In addition, I scraped the bed with the razor knife, and gave it a quick cleaning with a few passes of 3M 320 grit WetorDry sand paper. PlA is sticking great and popping off when cool. The sheet of PEI can be purchased at a variety of online sources including Amazon as well as the tape. The PEI is about $32 for a 12 x 24 inch sheet that I cut in two so I have another new sheet available that I haven’t even touched yet. The tape is around $7 or $8. I think it is definitely worth the investment. In addition I ordered an additional silicon heater and glass so I can use the PEI or PET. That about covers everything for stick and release!