Review: BuildTak Printing Surface

For last few months I’ve been happily 3D printing PLA on glass. Prints were repeatable, initial adhesion was just fine, ready print was easy to remove after glass cooled down. But I wouldn’t be me if I did not wanted to try something new. So I tried “the ideal 3D printing surface” BuiltTak.

My initial impressions were very positive. Nice mate surface a little similar to fine grain sanding paper. I was a little afraid that adhesion will be even too good and it will be hard to remove the print. But hey, they had to think of it, right? After all, BuildTak is quite expensive after all.

The only way to figure it out was to print something, so I applied BuildTak on a printing bed and started bed calibration.

Here first weakness of BuildTak revealed itself. It is very delicate and even light contact with extruder nozzle leaves marks on it. I was very careful during calibration, but ended up with a few centimeters long bruise in a printing surface.

After calibration I printed few small details to verify initial adhesion. With 200C extruder and 30C bed all looked fine. Initial adhesion was good and small prints were easy enough to remove without leaving any marks on the printing surface.

Encouraged with initial results I started a bigger print: micro SD card box. Around 3h printing time.

Everything was fine for the first hour or some. At the height of around 7mm, print detached from printing surface. After checking surface-nozzle distance (it was fine) I’ve decided to increase bed temperature to 40C and restarted the print.

This time nothing detached from the bed and print finished without any accidents. Almost… It was impossible to remove the print from BuildTak. As a matter of fact, it was impossible to remove the print at all! I’ve spent around 15 minutes trying to remove the print. As a result, BuildTak came completely destroyed. That was the only way!

My conclusion is: BuildTak is not worth the money. Absolutely.

  • Too easy to damage
  • Initial adhesion too weak without heating
  • Initial adhesion too high with heating (40C)

In my opinion, BuildTak is just not worth the money. I’m not saying it can not be used with good results. Perhaps after spending few more sheets I would find good settings. For me, heated glass is just better. And much cheaper…

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