Thursday, May 21, 2015

Awesome tool for getting 3D prints off a heated bed

I have a Printrbot Simple Metal 3D printer with a heated bed. Lately I have been printing with ABS plastic which requires hairspray to get the prints to stick to the bed without warping. While this works great it to keep the print stuck to the bed it can be difficult to get the prints off the bed without damaging the print or the Kapton tape. I've tried an X-Acto knife but it digs into the Kapton tape. Paint scrapers are usually too thick and have a blunt edge that can't get under the print. Some people use pliers to grasp the part and pull it off but I've found the pliers makes marks on the part when you grab it. My wife recommended a tool that we use with our Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter:

It's made by Cricut and they call it a Spatula Tool. It has a very thin front edge that is good for getting under prints and then it tapers up a little bit to make it stronger.

I slide it in under a corner and work it around the print and then lift up a bit and the print pops off. It looks like the spatula we have is an old model but I did a search on E-bay and there are a several of them for sale for less than $10 bucks. Just search for 'Cricut Spatula Tool' and look for one with a green handle. Cricut's has a new spatula design but is a little smaller and I don't know if it works as well. I might buy one just to try it out.

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