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Thin acrylic build platform for detaching parts easily

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Posted · Thin acrylic build platform for detaching parts easily

I had a 2.4 mm thick acrylic plate laser cut and carved with the official UM build platform drawing. Then I just added it on top of the 10 mm thick one. Easy enough mod, isn't it?


Then I printed something and tried to separate it from the plate:


Any tool you use bends the plate and NOT the printed object. But better yet... you don't even need tools!! At least for thick parts:


And the tape is preserved!

Thin objects bend with the plate, so you will still need a wedgy thing to separate them.

The whole idea is that you can use a thin and flexible plate on top of the thick one without bending if it is stretched or clamped from the sides. So it's safe for printing inside the square defined by the platform's bolts. The left and right edges are tricky, as the printed object's contraction would bend the plate up. This could be solved with some clamps. As you can see on the left of the first picture, I just taped the edges to the thick base for the time being.

The thinner acrylic base has a lower replacement cost, so you can scratch, sand or whatever without remorse!

Using the same principle, the thin acrylic could be replaced by other material that does not need blue tape. Another strategy is trying a very stretched thin film.

I encourage you to try my setup and tell me what you think!

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    Posted · Thin acrylic build platform for detaching parts easily
    I like it, very cool idea. The one thing that would worry me is if repeated bending of the plate would lead to it bowing up in the center and causing problems.

    It's symmetrical, right? Flip it over and bend away?

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    Posted · Thin acrylic build platform for detaching parts easily

    You are bending acrylic. It WILL eventually break. It's a trade off between practicality and cost. A material that will bend without fatigue will be more easily warped, and we don't want that.

    But the only engraving the thin plate needs is the bolt's seats. The rest can be seen through from the thick base.

    One thin plate cost me 30 Argentinian pesos (4 euros). It's the cost of just one failed print job.

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    Posted · Thin acrylic build platform for detaching parts easily

    Last minute update: Objects do bend a bit. This piece was printed in the center of the plate.


    I guess that even if the borders are clamped, the compression in the center of the upper face will bend the thin plate like an "M". Even if it is stretched, the tension needed to avoid having just a couple of degrees bent should be way too high.

    It was a nice idea, oh well... and I wondered why nobody had tried that one before... ;)

    I have some other ideas, like using an unbent half pipe so that it has lots of tension built in. Or making the build platform with tiles, so that when you pull a string they all come apart easily...

    So many ideas, so little time... :mrgreen:

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    Posted · Thin acrylic build platform for detaching parts easily

    That's normal warping. Unfortunately something that you have to live with if you don't have a heated bed. Sure, there are tricks to help minimize the effect like adding "mouse ears" to the corners, putting a brim on the part, print less solid, play with temperature, change when the fan kicks in etc etc but in my experience it never fully goes away.

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