How to print PLA on glass?

When I got my first 3D Printer (Malyan M150) and got into 3D printing I was surprised how consumer not-ready technology this is. Sticking, not sticking, overextrusion, underextrusion, Kepton, blue painters tape, clogged extruder… Over the time, at least, I was able to get the whole 3D Printing process somehow repeatable. I think one of the most important changes I’ve made in my 3D Printing experience is to ditch Kepton and blue painters tape in favor of printing PLA on heated glass. Process got simpler, faster and with better results. Also, not counting initial investment, cheaper.

Malyan M150 printing PLA on glass

How to convert 3D Printer for printing on glass

  1. First of all, you need a heat bed. Without it, printing on glass does not makes sense, since PLA will not stick to cold glass
  2. Get a sheet of 3mm borosilicate (Pyrex) glass that matches printer’s bed in size
  3. Since glass will be laying on bed, you have to adjust Y axis endstop. Mine printer, Malyan M150, had second set of holes, so I only had to move Y endstop higher. If your printer does not have additional screw holes, improvise 🙂
  4. Mount glass using binder clips. Watch out where you put them, since they can not be on the way of printers head. In my case, both front and left side of bed were off-limits, and binder clips are located only on back and right side of heatbed borosilicate glass on heated bed
  5. Level print bed

How to print PLA on glass

3D Printing PLA on glass

  1. Glass has to be clean! That means, before every print it is good to wipe it with paper towel and few drops of isopropyl alcohol to remove all fat from fingers and other dirt. 96% ethanol will also do fine, but it has better uses that that…
  2. Comparing to printing on Kepton or painters tape, extrusion temperature stays the same, usually around 190°C
  3. Like I mentioned before, glass has to heated for PLA to stick nicely to it. Different sources gives different temperatures, ranging from 55 to 70°C. I find 60°C; the best value
  4. The simples way to remove finished print from glass is to let it cool to 30°C

Happy printing!

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