Hairspray Your Heatbed

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Yes, you heard that right. We're not just goofy off the fumes, either - using hairspray on your heatbed in place of PET tape and/or acetone solutions actually works. More than that, it works well! In the tests that we've run at LulzBot HQ, we're seeing that the filament sticks better and the printed object pops off the glass more easily when it's finished. In fact, you won't even have to use the knife to pry it off. So how is it done?

First, make sure you've purchased the strongest hairspray available. These are usually identified on the label with numbers or words like Extra, Mega, or Extreme Hold. You can find them at your local grocery or big box store, usually for under $5. Of course, you can always just dig out a can from your bathroom cabinet.. Hey, it's cool. The Eighties were a good time.

Once you've got it home, remove the glass bed from your printer (you don't want the hairspray to gum up the machinery) and flip it over to reveal the side that does not have PET tape adhered to it. Holding the can about 8-10 inches away, apply a light, even layer to the glass. Repeat this 2-3 times and give the hairspray a chance to set before replacing the glass bed. If there is any excess product, it can be easily cleaned up with a dry cloth. (If you are sensitive or averse to perfume, make sure you pick out an unscented hairspray; otherwise, the fumes can get very powerful very fast).

Carefully replace the bed, spray side up, and start printing as you normally would. Voila! Drop us a line and let us know how your experiment worked - we'd love to hear about your experiences.

Comments

Thanks for working on a solution to the PET tape. Looking forward to higher quality parts now. Haven't had a ton of trial with the hairspray yet, but did have the experience of having a pretty full plate of parts where if the head drags much it's possible to pop a part off the plate. In my case it melted the head to the part that popped and dragged it over another part and then stuffed the nozzle and at that point the run had to be aborted. The part that popped off was on the outer edge of the field. When I stopped it and cleared the plate for a do-over, the parts that were there were still stuck on quite well. My first tries are with the Aussie brand.

1) Definitely do the spraying in a well ventilated area away from the printer. The fumes go well beyond smelling like a salon. 2) I'm finding a single very solid spray coat left to dry will leave a glassy smooth layer. Having a couple plates of glass to work with is useful so one can be printing while the other is drying. 3) Also finding that the z-axis home stop needs to ride a bit closer to the glass, not only because the PET tape is not there, but that first layer will adhere better when it's spread out just a little more. Working really well with those adjustments and love the fact that there is no seams and re-taping after bubbles appear or tape pulls.

Works great for me. Like other posters commented, try to find un-perfumed formulas as the fumes can be quite strong when applying. The heat from the plastic and the heated bed makes the spray sticky so wait until the bed cools and parts pop off easily. I wish I heard of this before I ordered more PET tape.

I just added a heated bed to my printer and after reading this decided to skip the PET tape and go straight to hairspray. No complaints so far. Parts stick well and come off easily once the bed is cool.

great, now what am I going to do with the 1/2 gallon of lulzjuice I've been stockpiling? Maybe the wife will let me swap my lulzjuice for her hairspray.

funny thing tho, before I bought my lulzbot printer, I was working on a [UNNAMED] self build unit and hair spray was one of the things I tried. of course the bed wasn't heated and nothing else was working very well so I never got a chance to see if it would really work. I guess I was so far ahead of the times I ended up being behind them.

I have having good success with the hairspray. Using Suave Extreme Hold. I am going to try another brand to get better stick results.

I can't believe you guys let this secret out in the wild. Hairspray is the perfect additive for your glass. Everything sticks WoW!
Cheap too, had some in the bathroom cabinet.

Thanks

good information.

BEST METHOD EVER! No tape .. no acetone/ABS solution .. just raid the Wife's or Daughter's under-sink cabinet and whamo. It works great. The only side effect is when it heats up it smells just like my wife walked into the room .... always have to spin around to see if I got caught playing with the 3D printer.

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