Heated bed installation

I am getting close to finish the build of my MP3DP. I have a question about the hot bed installation.
The connections on my heated bed ( which I bought here ) are made on the top on the board, on the black side (see picture) which make the surface uneven when I try to clip the glass on top of it.
Can I just turn it around and use the back side on top to put the glass on? This surface is perfectly even and the glass would touch the heated bed much better.
Another question, my hotbed is black and I see pictures where the hotbed is red. Is there a difference? Should I be worried about that?
Thanks for your help!


The black goes down and aluminum goes up on this kind of heat bed. The red one is the PCB, and not aluminum, I think. I think the actual term is MK2 for the aluminum one, which is better/more consistent than the PCB one.

Also, I’m pretty sure Ryan is going to tell you not to use the glass plate, again, since it’s aluminum and not PCB. I use blue tape on the aluminum and it’s great.

Hummm, on mine it’s written “PCB Heatedbed MK3 DUAL POWER” but definitely the back side looks like aluminium.
So blue tape directly on the aluminum right?
I am also planning to use another product to replace the tape. It is called LokBuild http://www.lokbuild.com. The back have heat resistant glue so I guess it will go directly on the alu side.

Would you be confortable with this?

Yeah, except in that pic, you’ve got the bed upside down.

Sorry I didn’t look up the number before I replied. This is what I have, and it’s what Ryan sells:


That’s meant to have the black side down, and the silver up, and that surface would be installed on the silver side, and it would work great. Let us know if you like that surface. I haven’t bought anything but the blue stuff because I ruin it enough that I’m worried about spending any money on something nicer.

I agree.

You might want to use blue tape for a bit before you use the fancy stuff, just incase you get some crashes or anything on the first few prints. I remember the first time I used buildtak I put a hole in it before I ever printed on it…

I have a build plate from printinz coming. It seems cool. Clip it on the bed and when the print is done, you take it off and flex the plate to release the part. You can even sand it if you scratch it. And both sides are usable

I’ve seen those, I was going to give it a shot but I haven’t ruined the PEI I am using yet. I actually bought a bunch that reminds me I need to put it in the shop for sale.

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The printinz zebra plate? How much are you selling them for?

I occasionally do something dumb and end up with blue tape securely in the print. So I just peel the tape off and soak it in alcohol to remove it and install some new tape to keep printing. Does that kind of thing destroy one of these PEI-like surfaces?

In that case you might get the print stuck to the print surfaces. They have a fix for it, but i havent looked into it yet.

Im pretty sure i have a bunch of PEI im getting my machines dirty with some speed test cuts… I’ll check when I go back up.

I have left a nozzle hot on the surface, dragged it over it hot and cold a bunch of times. Nothing so far kills it. I alcohol wipe it before every print. When the print is done and it’s cold the parts kinda fall off, usually i restart immediately so I tap them with the handle of my scraper and they come off. I have never had one stick too much. I do use the bed at 62/63 for PLA that is at least 10 degrees higher than I did with blue tape.

If you get a scratch in pei and it’s not too deep, you can 220 sand it to get rid of the scratch. Most of the guys at seeme use it on their printers and sand it every now and then anyway to get the surface smooth. You need a little roughness for the part to stick. I mainly just stick to my glass plate with glue stick. Sometimes I’ll use blue tape for those weird parts that are too thin to stick with just the glue.

I never understood why people are bothering with blue tape when glass + glue stick works absolutely perfectly.
Far cheaper, easier to maintain and gives a better finish. No warping issue to expect if the glue is applied properly. Why bothering with any other technique?

I have several glass plates, I just remove the glass when the print is done, then put it under cold water. The printed part detaches itself in a few seconds. Then just clean it and it’s good to go again.

I have never liked glue, blue tape is peel and go, no water, no bed removal, always flat.

When I just printed occasionally I used hairspray. That quickly made a mess of everything when I started to print more often.

I have an inductive sensor, and it doesn’t detect far enough to work through glass. I do like the finish that glass + glue stick gives.

I run PEI on top of the aluminum and used to use blue tape. The PEI gives a much nicer finish and PLA prints just pop off. ABS prints stick a bit more, but sliding my thin spatula under pops them off as well. PEI is tough, I haven’t scratched mine yet and have printed quite a bit.

Be aware that the 3M adhesive they often ship with the PEI is much more of a pain to remove, make sure you take proper care when installing so no bubbles form or you’ll spend four times the time cleaning it off for a reinstall…

Yeah, but it costs more, creates waste, takes more time to put it in place prior to print… And printing big parts will take a lot of tape to cover all the surface…

The trick is simply to have at least two glass plates, that’s how I do it usually. Just swap the glass and put glue on it and you’re good to go again, takes less than one minute. Then you have all the time you want to separate the part from the other glass plate while the printer is printing a new one.

Also, I generally don’t clean the plate between prints, you can print dozens of parts without having to clean the glass every time, you just clean it whenever it is too bumpy for the first layer to be properly printed, or if you want a really nice finish for the first layer. Simply apply new glue over the places where the glue went off after unsticking the part and you’re good to go.
I found out that the dirtiest your glass build plate is, the more adhesion you get. So generally, whenever I want to print a part that may be subject to warping issues, I wait until my plate is full of glue and plastic residues to do it. Sure the finish is not as beautiful as it would be with a clean glass, but in the end what really matters is to get a functional part.

Just my 2 cents, having tried a few things.

I would have loved the gluestick to work, but I guess I had the wrong brand.

I also tried hairspray - one that had copolymer in the ingredients. I tried sanding the blue tape and also printing straight on to glass.

The only thing that works consistently for parts with a wide base is glass cleaned with alcohol and a fresh application of blue tape. I’m quite quick at applying now. You can buy super wide blue tape, but it’s very expensive. The super wide cream coloured stuff doesn’t work, I tried.

I never tried a heated bed.