So I realized very quickly that hairspray on the glass bed of my Hyrel usually provides incredible adhesion, but the part usually sticks so well that I have difficulty removing it. Doing some research online, I found GeckoTek’s buildplate which is coated with a special surface that allows different materials (ABS, PLA, PET, etc) to stick very well. However, with a small flex of the platform, the part is supposed to pop right off without much effort (http://www.geckotek3d.com/)!
That sounded incredible, so I worked with GeckoTek to test the plate on my Hyrel. I can definitely say that it is an incredible build surface! I did a test with two materials: Inland PLA and ProtoPasta Rustable Magnetic Iron PLA (click here for link). I attempted two different test prints: this vase (pla) and this cute octopus (Magnetic Iron PLA).
The PLA vase finished, worked incredibly well, and left a nice glassy surface when removed from the bed like so:
The incredible thing was that, after leaving the finished print on the platform for 5 minutes or so, I was able to remove it by pushing it off with one finger! It came off so easily that I didn’t even need to flex the plate to get it off. Interestingly, the Magnetic Iron PLA was a little harder to remove, but still much much easier than removing it from hairsprayed glass. The video below shows the removal:
Notice how glassy and incredible the bottom surface is at the end of the video!
Now for a few recommendations:
1.) GeckoTek recommends not squishing the filament into the platform and going
with a slightly higher calibration than normal
2.) GeckoTek also recommends cleaning the platform with isopropyl alcohol every 5
prints or so
However, with all that being said, it’s quite the buildplate! And, of course, it doesn’t even need any prep to stick! No hairspray, painters tape, glue, etc!!! I will be using it as the main buildplate for my blog projects from now on, so I will continue to test its limits and will update if my review changes over time. However, up to now, I am incredibly pleased!!
Stay tuned for the next project!
John (aka The Mad Printer)