For most people, getting 3D prints to stick to a bed is a challenge. But, if your prints are sticking to the bed too well, what do you do?
If your prints keep sticking to the bed, you probably have heat, adhesion, or design issues – all of which can make it hard to get a print off the bed.
In most cases, once a 3D print is stuck to the bed, you’ll have to scrape it off. Afterwards, you can take steps to prevent the issue from happening again, by checking settings and bed adhesive, and by cleaning the bed. For example, with the Ender 3, you can often reduce over-adhesion by changing the bed temperature, using a release spray, or checking that your settings are correct.
Why Does 3D Print Get Stuck To Bed?
Prints can get stuck to the bed for a number of reasons.
However, those reasons normally depend on what you’re doing, your bed material, and your settings.
Wrong Adhesive Material
Many people use extra adhesion materials to get prints to stick to the bed. However, if the material is too close to the filament, you might have a problem.
More often, issues arise when you don’t use an adhesive. For example, if you have a Prusa or Creality printer, they’re likely to come with a steel plate. These feature a PEI-coated steel bed.
Often, prints can stick to the very smooth PEI bed. This means prints can be very difficult to remove.
Using an adhesive layer such as water-soluble glue sticks or blue painter’s tape can prevent your print from sticking to the bed as much.
Wrong Bed Surface
Popular printers like the Ender 3 come with glass plates, but you often can’t print ASA or PET filament on them. Glass and steel beds are ideal for popular materials like PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and Nylon.
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In most cases, the print should stick to the surface without additional adhesives, providing the settings are right.
Nozzle Too Close to Bed
If your initial layer height is too low, your first layer might over-adhere to the bed. That can cause significant difficulties when going to remove the print.
Here, it’s important to ensure that the first layer is at least the height of the filament. So, if you’re extruding through a 0.4mm nozzle, the first layer must not be too squished, or it will over-adhere.
Bed Temperature Is Too High
If the bed temperature is too high, it will cause the first layer to stay molten for too long. That, plus the additional weight of new layers on top, will cause the print to over-adhere to the bed.
This can result in difficulties taking the print off the bed.
Grease and dust on the bed can cause your 3d print to fail to stick to the print bed. However, if you have leftover filament on the bed, it could increase adhesion.
That’s also the case if you have leftover glue or another adhesive on the bed.
Wrong Extrusion Multiplier Settings
If your extrusion multiplier settings are wrong, the printer could be heating and extruding too much filament at once. This can result in over-extrusion and over-adhesion.
However, this issue is less likely than the other options, unless you’ve recently changed the extrusion multiplier settings or the material.
How To Remove Stuck 3D Print From Bed
If your 3D print is stuck to the bed, you can use several tactics to get it off.
However, if it’s a recurring issue, you should take steps to ensure that it doesn’t stick again in the future.
1. Use Force
If your 3D print is stuck to the bed, the first option is to use more force to peel it off. Here, it’s a good idea to get a firm grip on the 3D printer with one hand. This allows you to steady the printer when you pull.
Then, pull the print away from the printer while steadying the print bed. You can also try twisting the part.
However, you don’t want to apply too much force. If you do, you could damage the 3D print and even the bed.
So, if it doesn’t come loose, try something else.
2. Scraping Tool
Another option to remove a 3D print stuck to a print bed is to insert a thin and flat tool under the edge of the print and pry upwards. Here, it’s important not to use sharp objects or back-and-forth motions.
For example, even if you have a Creality Ender 3, its textured glass bed still has a coating on it. You could scratch that coating, meaning you’d have to replace the bed.
Instead, work the tool under the very edge of the print. Then, pry it upwards. If you can insert it further under afterwards, do so.
Always be sure to work slowly and gently. You can also tap or push on the top of the 3D print, pushing it away from the direction you’re pushing the tool under.
3. Dental Floss
You can use dental floss to work under a 3D print and slowly pull the 3D print up from the bed. Here, take a length of floss long enough to wrap around your hands with some to go under the model.
Then, starting from the back, work the floss back and forth under the model until it slides under the model. Keep going until the model is loose. If you have someone to gently lift the model towards you at the same time, it may go faster.
Dental floss and string are fine to use for this method. However, it’s important not to use wire, which may scratch the print bed.
4. Run the Part Under Water
If your 3D print still won’t come off the bed, it’s a good idea to remove the bed from the machine. From there, you can run it under water, cooling the glass, and creating a temperature difference between the print and the bed.
This may create enough of a difference that you’re able to peel the print off of the bed without damaging the bed. Here, it’s important to use cold water.
5. Freeze the Bed
If running water doesn’t change the temperature of the bed enough, you can also try freezing the bed. Here, you can simply put the build plate and the print into the freezer for a few hours.
This method works very well with ABS, which actually slightly contracts when cold. Therefore, after a few hours, you should be able to easily lift the model with no force.
However, it’s important not to stick a hot build plate in the freezer. Sudden temperature changes can warp some materials. And, glass contracts when it’s cold. If it changes temperature suddenly, it could crack.
6. Use a Different or No Bed Adhesive
If you’re using a bed adhesive, try using a different one. Or, try running a test print without an adhesive.
Many people start using bed adhesives as a standard, despite the fact that most printers are designed to print without them. For example, if you have a heated, textured glass bed, it’s highly likely you don’t need an adhesive.
In addition, the heated bed could even cause the adhesive to stay partially melted, causing it to glue your part down after it is done.
While this might not fix your issue, it doesn’t hurt to run a few prints without an adhesive. In addition, you should always clean the bed thoroughly when removing an adhesive to ensure any residue is gone.
7. Use a Flexible Bed
Flexible beds allow you to peel the print off by bending the bed away from the print. That can greatly reduce issues with over-adhesion.
However, it does mean you’ll have to replace the stock bed. Creality and Prusa both sell flexible beds, though.
Here, spring steel, polypropylene, PEI, and other bed materials are all good options. However, you’ll normally have to check what’s available for your specific 3D printer and what works for the materials you normally print with.
8. Use a Raft or Brim
Rafts and brims are most often used to increase bed adhesion. However, they may also be used to reduce problematic points in your design.
For example, if you want a very thick first layer and it’s taking too long to cool and over-adhering, a raft or brim could solve the issue.
In addition, rafts and brims allow you to apply more pressure to the model during removal, because you don’t mind if the raft is damaged.
Many splicers also have the option to simply add a raft to your design. This can make the solution as easy as ticking a button in your splicer.
9. Make Sure Bed Is Level
If your bed is uneven, the nozzle could be too close to the bed for parts of the print. That could cause the filament to over-adhere to that part of the bed. So, if your model is partially very stuck to the bed, this could be your issue.
Taking time to level your bed is also important for preventing uneven extrusion, lopsided models, and the nozzle cutting into the bed.
However, you should be able to get away with checking it and manually re-leveling on occasion or when you have an issue.
Here, the best technique is to use a piece of paper to test whether or not the bed is level.
That means dropping the nozzle to the first layer height and making sure that you can just slide a piece of paper under the nozzle with a slight bit of resistance at all four corners and the center of the bed.
10. First Layer Height
If the nozzle is too close to the bed, it could cause the filament to over-adhere to the bed. Here, it’s important to double-check your first layer height settings based on recommendations for your machine, your filament, and your nozzle size.
Most people prefer some squish to their first layer. However, too much is bad. As a rule of thumb, you can use a value of –0.05mm of offset for a layer height of 0.2mm. That offers about 25% squish, or about the maximum that most people want.
However, if you don’t want squish, it’s a good idea to match the first layer height to the diameter of the nozzle. That’s 0.2mm for a 0.2mm diameter nozzle and so on.
11. Lower the Bed Temperature
Heated beds can increase bed adhesion but they can also increase it too much. If it’s difficult to remove prints, you may want to try lowering the bed temperature.
Here, you should lower the temperature in small increments and see where the problem starts to get better. It’s also a good idea to look up standards for the material you’re printing with and try to align with that.
However, there’s also the option that your bed’s temperature regulation isn’t working properly and the bed is overheating. If that’s the case, you might notice that the bed stays very warm, even when you reduce the temperature.
12. Increase the Speed of the First Layer
The faster you print the first layer, the faster it will cool. This means you can reduce bed adhesion by speeding up the first layer. However, you don’t want to go too fast. Instead, look at your initial first-layer settings. Then, check what’s recommended for your material.
In most cases, 80-100 mm is a good rule of thumb. This will provide a balance between print quality and adhesion to the bed. However, if it’s still sticking, you can increase the speed by 5 mm and try again until it improves.
The initial speed, however, should never go over normal print speed.
In addition, if the problem is caused by heat or adhesive issues, changing the first layer speed won’t fix the issue.
13. Fix Extrusion Settings
If your extrusion multiplier settings are wrong, your print will likely stick to the bed. Here, you’ll have to adjust the settings based on your slicer.
For example, Prusa uses PLA as a default setting. This means that 1 or 100% is the setting for PLA. If you’re using another material, you may have to adjust it.
However, if extrusion issues are the cause, you probably see other signs of over-extrusion. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the prints. In addition, your flow rate should almost never be over 115%.
14. Clean the Bed
If the print bed still has bits of filament or adhesive on it, your prints may over-adhere. Therefore, taking time to clean the bed can prevent the issue.
Here, you can often use alcohol, dental floss, or a scraping tool to clean your print bed.
3D Print Materials That Tend To Stick To The Bed
Any 3D print material can stick to the print bed. However, some materials are slightly more prone to sticking than others.
ABS is one of the most popular 3D printing materials. So, it makes sense a lot of people have issues with it sticking to the bed. Here, issues are likely because the bed is too warm.
However, you might also have too much squish on the first layer. In addition, the nozzle could be slightly too close to the bed.
Finally, ABS can stick to the bed if you’re using acetone to clean in between prints but not getting all of the old ABS up. That can create a sticky film.
The first solution should be to try printing with a clean bed, without any adhesives.
PETG is notorious for adhesion issues of every kind, even with glass beds like the Ender 3. However, the reasons can vary. For example, you may be trying to remove the print too soon.
PETG is normally very difficult to remove until it fully cools, after which it should just pop off.
However, you might also have wet filament, the bed might be too hot, the nozzle might be too close to the bed, and you might have a flow rate that is set too high.
Here, you probably want the bed to be 65-90°C. If your PETG is sticking too much, try adjusting the bed temperature down in increments of 5°C.
PLA most often has issues sticking to beds. However, it may also over-adhere.
When this happens, the easiest way to remove it is to allow the bed to completely cool and then heat the bed back up. The PLA will expand, which normally causes it to pop off the bed.
If you still have questions about removing 3D prints that are stuck to the bed, these answers should help.
Does higher bed temp help adhesion?
The higher the print bed temperature, the longer it will take for the filament to cool. That gives it more time to settle into every pore of the surface, meaning it will stick better.
For this reason, if you’re having problems with over-adhesion, lowering the temperature of the bed can solve the issue.
When can you remove 3D print from bed?
That depends on the material. However, for most prints, it’s a good idea to allow the print to completely cool before doing so.
How long that takes will depend on ambient temperature and the size of the print. However, giving most prints an average of 2+ hours is a good rule to ensure they have plenty of time to cool.
In most cases, you can remove a stuck 3D print by applying force, using a scraper, or freezing the plate. Afterwards, you’ll want to take steps to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again. That can mean adjusting settings, looking at heat, or leveling the bed. In some cases, you may also just want a new bed with more flex, so it’s easier to remove prints.