Zebra Plate

Hello all,

I’m picking 3D printer no. 3 for work and I’m hoping I could get a question answered for the TAZ 5.

I have a Makergear M2 at home, with which I run Polycarbonate (Polymaker PC-Plus and eSun ePC) frequently using BuildTak on a flexible substrate. The flexible substrate in that case is an old Zebra Plate, whereby new Zebra Plate is used for PLA and PETG. I see that PrintinZ sells Zebra Plate for the TAZ, but I want to confirm that the PEI build plate is indeed meant to be easily interchanged. I like these build surfaces and don’t want to go experimenting with glue and tape again.

I’ve checked the manual, this forum, and youtube videos, and I’m having a hard time finding an image of the plate actually coming off.

To clarify the question: Can Zebra Plate or another flexible plate be used with no or minimal modification to the printer, yes or no?

Thank you all!


I have one on order, should be in today. I’m planning to put it on top of the PEI with binder clips and/or printed clips. The PEI is taped down with double sided tape, so it’s not really intended to be removed. It can be, but it’s a somewhat annoying process. That’s one reason I’m putting the Zebra on top. :smiley:

I’m using a Mini, so I have to make sure the auto-leveling stuff will work properly with it. You won’t have that problem on a TAZ. Just adjust the Z zero point and you should be good to go.

Buildtak on a Zebra… Interesting… Since you have them, how are you liking the plates? I like the idea of a flexible plate to help with removal.

I use Zebra Plates (PrintnZ) for all PLA printing.

Since PLA with the Zerbra Plates does not require a heated bed, all you need is some Borosilicate with the Zebra placed on top.

You’ll need new corner mounts (or risers to place on the ones you have now). These are on Thingiverse. I’ll try to find a link and post it.

I also use clips spaced around the edges to keep everything flat.

The Zebra Plates work great. I won’t use anything else with PLA.

Keep in mind though, that they have the same issue with sticking as with PEI. If you squish the first layer too much, you’ll have a hard time getting the print off and will have to do some scraping. Unlike PEI, however, you can always sand any residue left behind off. But, with the Zebra plates, you don’t have to squish the first layer anyway.


Thanks for the info. I was planning to set the first layer higher than normal to prevent the “squish” on the Zebra. I mostly run ABS and PETG right now, but do plan to do some PLA too.

Great answers, thank you all.

ttabal, yes I like the Zebra Plate very much. Both the matte surface finish and the quality of the adhesion for PLA, PETG, and smaller PC-plus prints. By the way, I had found I need to heat the bed a bit with Zebra even with PLA for consistently excellent adhesion.


I have a Zebra plate and extra heatbed (glass only), sitting on the workbench. My plan was to cut the corners of the Zebra plate a bit to accommodate the stock tabs that holds the heatbed in place.

So just to re-emphasize the answer to the OP. The PEI is not removable. Its adhered onto the borosilicate glass which is meant to be left on the printer… removed only if broken or for maintenance.

The order is in for the TAZ 5, thanks again for the input.

In the Makergear M2 world there seems to be a lot of success and momentum using a bead blasted 1/4" MIC6 plate (fine-grain, low distortion aluminum alloy available on McMaster) as the bed surface, with hairspray. Apparently folks are having great success with this surface for all materials, including the polycarbonate variants. One member of that forum in particular (jimc) has been bead blasting and cutting these plates for people, and I have one on order from him and will be excited to try it.

The Zebra is great, but as one gets increasingly used to reliable adhesion and print quality, the next biggest annoyance starts to seem unacceptable, which is surface flatness in the case of the Zebra and which is supposedly great on the MIC6 plate.

In any case, if the MIC6 test on the Makergear at home goes well, we’ll be making one for the TAZ as well (to go over the PEI, although a more extensive mod is on the table). Being able to do large polycarbonate-ish prints reliably will reduce how highly subscribed we are to machine shops significantly so I have a lot of interest in this.

I’d say glass is still the the more flat surface to be achieved.

Personally, I’d rather not deal with tape or sprays on the print bed. Its just an extra hassle… been there with a different printer (eventually stuck a PEI sheet to it). Aerosal gets all all over the place, use a pump spray. Both need to be cleaned eventually.

I’d add ABS juice or ABS slurry to your options for aluminum also.

Dial in the PEI, remove prints at <60C… it will serve well. If you want a removable plate, use the Zebra plate (trim the corners) on top and adjust Z-offset to accommodate the thickness.

I’ve recently purchased a geckotek plate. Currently still testing it out but my main issue has been over stick… Like it sticks more than PEI. I’ve been dialing it in to reduce the amount it sticks. The plate is made out of metal and The ability to remove the plate is nice.

Yes… the plates (Zebra, Gecko, Flecks3D) all seem to stick better than PEI. The Zebra plate comes with a warning to start the bed at lower temps… 90C IIRC.

So the Lulzbot Cura profiles may cause parts to stick too well.

Since I cracked my glass while removing a part, I’m thinking of getting a Zebra Plate for my TAZ 5. However, I don’t see that they have any 300x300mm available. The closest is 300x270. Is that what everyone is using? Also, does anyone know of an EU distributor, or do I buy direct from printinz?

For my Mini, I emailed them and they offered to cut one to fit for a very reasonable price. They even included trimming the corners off to clear the auto-leveling washers on the Mini. I just provided the dimensions needed to clear them. I’m sure they would do that for a Taz as well. They would probably be the best source for information on EU distributors as well.

I’ve been printing on it exclusively for a few weeks. I really like it. So far, I have not had any issues removing parts after adjusting the z-offset to accommodate the height of the plate.

Another question, since I’m going to buy a new silicon heat pad too (not having been able to unglue the one from the cracked glass without damaging it), might it be a good idea to put the heat pad on top of the glass, and the Zebra plate on top of it? I’m thinking heat transmission and temperature sensing.

Mine is stock with the heater on the bottom of the glass with PEI (damaged) on top between the glass and Zebra. The Zebra doesn’t need as much heat, and can actually be damaged with too much heat. I’m sure the surface temp is much lower than the printer senses, but that doesn’t really matter. I know if I print PETG with the bed set to 60C, it will stick nicely and release when cool. The top could be 60, but it’s probably closer to 40 really. A few short test prints with a new filament type will get it dialed in for you, start cool and work up slowly to make sure you don’t weld the print to the plate. :slight_smile:

I’ve only used PETG and HIPS with it so far. Both worked well set to 60C for the bed. I expect ABS and PLA will work with that temp as well.

There is a 300x300 version of the plate… scroll down the dropdown list. I just ordered one this past weekend.

… well it looks like they may be out of stock.

So I’m sitting next to the TAZ running through it’s first prints (Polymaker PC-Plus) with the stock PEI build surface at 100C. The result is excellent so far and all my thinking of adding a removable plate may have been premature. This is impressive because PC-Plus is known to be harder to keep stuck to the bed than even ABS, although I can’t say myself because I can’t deal with the ABS smell.

I’m ordering PEI to go with my M2 right now.


PC-Plus on the stock plate is good. I have a very big brim (12 outlines) on these test prints but it’s looking like that can be reduced or eliminated.