Jan 8, 2019 | By Cameron

Kapton, stick glue, painter’s tape, and Aqua Net hairspray. What do all these things have in common? They’re all used as bed adhesives on FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printers. Getting that first layer to adhere to the print bed is critically important; most 3D printer operators will relate that the quality of the first layer determines the success of 90% of 3D prints. When a 3D print fails, it’s almost always related to the first layer. There are several factors that affect the first layer, such as bed levelness and nozzle height, but even after those are correctly dialed in, there can still be adhesion issues.

Makers experiment with everything to improve bed adhesion and there are several products made specifically for the task. Some makers use a slurry of acetone and a bit of ABS when printing with ABS. Others say a mirror-clean surface produces the best results (those people are wrong). But Mysimplefix proposes sugar. By simply mixing half a teaspoon of regular sugar with a few drops of water and briefly heating it, a thin solution is created. A paper towel or brush can be used to apply a coat of the solution onto a print bed that’s heated to 50-60°C. The heat causes the water to evaporate, leaving behind a uniform layer of sugar.

This method makes sense as we’ve all made something sticky by accidentally spilling a soda or juice; it’s the sugar in the beverage that makes it sticky. I’ll give this method a shot, but it’ll be hard to beat the convenience of Aqua Net.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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Jane wrote at 3/24/2019 6:24:54 PM:

Hi there from Germany, thank you very much for your incredible easy and ecofriendly tip! I'm new to 3D printing and just bought me a used 3D printer and saw your tip beforehand, so I didn't even think about to buy some cans of hairspray or blue painter tape. It works like a charm for me, thank you!

Ken wrote at 1/12/2019 1:50:30 AM:

Well...since i use that sugar i dont know where those ants come from cuse i never saw them before.. its a one or the other but i can liv with them :)

No really wrote at 1/9/2019 2:03:56 PM:

Sure if you want a disgusting bacteria covered printer why not?

total wrote at 1/9/2019 12:48:47 PM:

I have tried, sugar, caramel, beer and cola. All of them work, but beer smells the best.

total wrote at 1/9/2019 12:43:57 PM:

I have tried, sugar, caramel, beer and cola. All of them work, but beer smells the best.

I.Am.Magic wrote at 1/9/2019 8:35:27 AM:

I would have loved a failed print without this method and a success print with sugar.

Alex wrote at 1/9/2019 7:48:27 AM:

sugar tax.

Chris wrote at 1/9/2019 5:03:46 AM:

Soda pop is used for outdoor parking lot racing remote control cars. Same concept, let water evaporate.

zbarr wrote at 1/9/2019 4:51:48 AM:

hell no! using a textured flexible magnetic build plate is the way to go. always sticks better than anything else, and WAY easier to release when done.

Colleen F. wrote at 1/9/2019 3:19:17 AM:

Would a mug warmer produce enough heat? Or maybe crockpot type lunch warmer. (Gets up to 165°F) Looking for a small heat source I can set next to my printer

Ed Eaglehouse wrote at 1/8/2019 8:47:10 PM:

Good tip. Sugar is water-soluble and can be safely rinsed off the final print. For convenience, home stores that sell kitchen products often carry misters, as do beauty supply shops. Mix up your sugar/water solution, pour it into the bottle, spritz it on your printing bed, eh, voila: same convenience as Aqua-Net!

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