One of the biggest challenges somebody new to printing can face is getting the first layer to stick, but what happens if you have the opposite problem and your print won’t release?
What can be done to remove it? What can you do to prevent it from happening in the future? There are a few ways you can help to prevent this from occurring.
When it comes to releasing a stuck print start with a removal tool then thermal shocking or string and lastly try solvent. PETG is the one material the can really create problems, so do your homework before using it. Glue, Hair spray and printer adjustments can help prevent problems in the future.
If you’re curious to learn more about how you can use these methods on your stuck print, you’ll want to check out this article.
Below is more information about how you can use these methods to help free your print from the bed without damage.
Try Some Print Removal Tools
Print removal tools are a popular option to use when trying to release a stuck print. These tools are usually made with a sturdy handle that’s connected to a thin blade.
This blade often comes in various sizes so you have a variety to choose from depending on your needs. For instance, if you’re planning to print a large item, a longer print removal blade would be ideal as it can get up under the print to help release it more evenly than a smaller model would.
These blades are also extremely flexible which can help you to remove the print without fear of accidentally breaking it.
Sometimes you can find special 3D printer removal toolkits (ADD LINK) which contain a variety of items like tweezers, wrenches, and pliers you can use to help with this problem.
If you’re unable to find a specific print removal tool knife or kit, you can instead use painting or palette knives.
These knives look and work exactly like specially designed 3D print removal tools although they sometimes might be a bit smaller or more angled.
They can be a little sharp though so you’ll need to be a little careful when removing the print to ensure it doesn’t get scratched or chipped.
Razor blade scrapers can help with releasing some small prints, but this is a tricky task and one you should only use if you don’t have any other alternative.
You can also try to use a rubber mallet on prints that are solid and level. To do this, simply take the mallet and hit the sides of your stuck print.
Be extremely careful with this method as the force could cause your print to be ruined if it doesn’t have enough infill and if it is stuck really well this can be hard on your printer.
Use Thermal Shocking
Thermal shocking is an interesting way to help release your print from the bed, but it can be a little challenging.
To do thermal shocking; first, let it cool down a bit and then you want to reheat it which should help to loosen the print’s grip.
However, if your build platform can be removed, you can try putting it in the freezer for about 30 minutes which should be enough to release the print.
If you’re unable to bring your build plate to a freezer, you can try to bring the freeze to your build plate with an air duster can.
The air duster will work the same way as a freezer would by cooling beneath the print and loosening it up.
Keep in mind though that you need to always keep the air duster can turn upside down when doing this.
One my favorite Youtubers (JIMMY DIRESTA) share this tip for speed cooling hot glue, but it can work on your 3D prints too.
The String, Floss, or Fishing Line Method
String, floss, or fishing line can be a great way to help release a stuck print from the bed. They can be wiggled under the print to help work it up.
It’s also one of the best removal methods to use if you want to ensure your print doesn’t come out with slight variations on it.
To do this method, simply take a long piece of string, floss, or fishing line (about 12 inches) and gently wrap it around the top edges of your print.
You can then gently start to move the string back and forth in a soft sawing motion while carefully moving it down the length of the print.
The motion should end up lifting the print when it reaches the bottom so you can remove it.
Solvent as a Last Resort
Solvents can be helpful, but they can be harmful at the same time. It’s best that you only use solvents if absolutely necessary.
As a last resort, you can apply a solvent at the base of the print. The liquid will work to get under the print which will help you to better remove it.
A popular solvent to try is isopropyl alcohol. You can put some of it on the edges of the print which can help to soften them so you can lift the print up.
Warm water can also sometimes encourage the print to be released, just add a touch of it in order to prevent the print from becoming damaged.
How to Prevent This Problem from Recurring
If you want to make sure your prints completely stop sticking to the printing bed, you can try to use a release agent like glue or hairspray on it.
Be especially careful with glue as it could leave a slight layer on your print if you use too much.
Hairspray can also cause a faint smell on the print, so it’s important to use it sparingly. Both of these methods tend to work well to prevent stuck prints from constantly occurring.
If you’re not keen on using glue or hairspray with your printer, you can also try to increase your first layer Z spacing.
This way the nozzle won’t be too close to the print bed which could otherwise cause the printing liquid to stick tightly to it. By increasing the space, the liquid will be able to drop a bit more freely which can prevent it from securing itself firmly to the bed.
Other options to try are to speed up your first layer, reduce the bed temperature, or change your bed surface.
These should all work to help release any type of print safely and without you having to worry about causing damage to your machine.
Is There Any Type of Material That Really Has an Issue with Release?
There is one type of material that has a particularly hard time with the release. PETG is able to form an incredibly strong bond to the bed. It can be difficult to remove it without damaging the print’s surface in order to release it.
If you do decide to print with PETG, make sure to use a type of release agent, such as a glue stick, hairspray, or other bed treatment before printing.