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A better Bed Glass - Neoceram Glass

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I been testing for almost two months a different bed glass called Neoceram as an alternative to the UM bed glass, so here they some my impressions and 'why'.

Neoceram is a Ceramic infused glass made by a Japan company. Is a glass designed to withstand up to 800C heat impact. Why it can do that? That's one of the interesting things. The Neoceram glass doesn't 'Expand' when it heats up, it doesn't change of shape when heating up, so it doesn't break, chip, or get damaged by heating/cooling.

A video is worth a thousand words right?

 

Well this guys sell this for Fireplaces, so yea it can hold heat. Why is this interesting for a 3Dprinter?

- Glass wont change shape when heating. So even without PID on the bed, the print won't suffer from changes of temperature (All umo, um2, um2+ without Tinkergnome firmware work on a Bang Bang Mode for the Bed)

The other advantage is that it doesn't loose structural integrity when used, because Tempered Glass looses strength when heating/cooling due glass expanding/contracting. Neoceram Glass, specially on the range we use, has a expansion close to zero, so even at 120C the shape would remain the same. (OFC the print might compress when cooling down, because Plastics do compress)

I have used this glass only with PLA and GreenTec, Recreus Filaflex and other flexibles. There's a clear improvement on adhesion strength, but the improvement isn't enough to replace hairspray, at first it did seem like it was enough, but isn't. It grabs better, but it doesn't replace hairspray for adhesion when using materials like GreenTec. But, for flexibles it did improve the adhesion.

Why the fast cooling is interesting?

Very easy. You can get your hot plate at 100C (with gloves doh!) and put it under a water, freezer, etc. Just after print has finish. Making the slow down of waiting it to cooldown close to nothing.

With UM Tempered Glass I have damaged 3 glasses on this last 6 months now that I use Greentec + Hairpsray + Fast cooling at 60C to remove the print parts faster. Is the only way to keep the production cost down for me (speed). So I been using this Neoceram glass on two printers for this 2 months and I been pushing the limits of what you shouldn't do every day. And this are my impressions (but remember I'm no engineer, I just hack & chop and test everything I find)

- Temperature is more stable along the print bed when using Neoceram.

- The Gloss side has a almost invisible, but is there, 'Frosted' texture, so that's how the back of the prints look, but ofc it leaves a shiny gloss look.

- Is Cheaper than UM Tempered Glass.

- Not even a scratch after many forced pulls to remove them (to test it).

- Is REALLY flat.

So, how flat it is... That's a good question.

The long history

I did search for a few days for this glass. There's a 3D printer on USA that uses neoceram glass, but they sell the bed glass for an absurd 70-80€. So after many google hours, I did find one where the price was ok (because most of the places I found the lowest price was around 40-70€)

The shop where I bough mine cristalamedida.com (I did pay for my stuff and they didn't give any part free and I also don't have any deal with them) allows to cut the size custom, so it was around 25€ each glass.

So after getting the glass and testing it for weeks, I did contact the shop to know more, and surprisingly they where very very nice and did explain quite a few things about, why this Ceramic Glass is better than Tempered Glass.

Tempered Glass is made on a Tin Bath (like @tomnagel said on a post long ago). So I asked this guys about that, and the guy Sergio from Cristalamedida did send me a mail with all the info about why the 4mm Tempered glass are how they are.

Sergio told me that

 

achieving a perfect flatness on tempered glass is very hard because the range of tolerances of 4mm glass are around +/- 0.2mm, and taking into account that the minimum thickness allowed to work with 4mm glass is 3.80, then we move on a 3.78-3.80 range, so to work around 4mm is to 'waste' material since 3.80 is already on tolerance.

So well, just get a Caliper and measure your bed glass.

The other issue he told me is that since Tempered Glass is cool down on tin bath, the cooling ratio allows the glass to suffer some degree of curvature. Making our bed glasses less flat. And about how flat UM bed glasses are ATM:

This is the 'check' I did after buying 3 Glasses to the UM distributor in Spain

 

I could clearly see that they where 'Banana' more than flat... Fortunately UM distributor is awesome (kudos for Tr3sdland) and I was able to return the bed glass (after send the video and explaining my concern ofc). And that 3 UM bed glass where 100€ with delivery.

So, how flat is the 2 Neoceram Glasses I bough? Really really really reaaaaaally flat. Does that mean that yours will be? Dunno I don't sell glass :D!

So... I did ask Sergio again about the Specifications of the Neoceram Glass they sell, you know the PDF info about Flatness, heat resistance, all the info one gets when buys a product (the kind of Info UM doesn't offer when he sells a bed glass, because well is their right not to offer details of where the bearings, glass, etc etc come...)

So this guys did send me the PDF of the brand they use for the Neoceram glass they sell:

- I have upload the file to my dropbox so anyone can read it

The flatness Neoceram glass gives is of a

Flatness ≤ 0.3% × D

So.. 0.3% for a 4mm, now we move on a 3.98 to 4.012mm range? Well officially this Cristalamedida guys they sell it as 1.0mm +-, but ofc that's to be safe from people with calipers like us. I was worried when I bough it but I can't be happier with my Neoceram glasses.

So... Remember this is my own opinion, based on how I work day after day.

Edited by Guest
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I found a supplier of Neoceram not that far from me. Interestingly they also had black non-translucent Neoceram a little bit thinner than the clear. I ordered a sheet of each sized to fit my UM3E. I will report back on how they work for me. I am hoping the black will work to even out glass temperature. I have found greater than 5 degrees C of difference between center to edge. I believe it is the cause of warpage of my large prints and would love to eliminate it.

Edited by Guest
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I found a supplier of Neoceram not that far from me. Interestingly they also had black non-translucent Neoceram a little bit thinner than the clear. I ordered a sheet of each sized to fit my UM3E. I will report back on how they work for me. I am hoping the black will work to even out glass temperature. I have found greater than 5 degrees C of difference between center to edge. I believe it is the cause of warpage of my large prints and would love to eliminate it.

That got my attention. My large enterprise had some warpage that I have to work out with putty and sanding. I did not realize such a temp difference in the glass plating. Makes sense, but did not occur to me.

I look forward to hearing your feedback.

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If you try to avoid standard glass from warping, don't forget the effect of the print cooling fans.

Some time ago I bought an infrared thermometer, and to my surprise the glass plate temp was *very* uneven: on a small print, in some areas it was 15°C cooler than in others.

So I tried heating the glass without printing, and then the temp was very nice and even, except at the last centimeter at the edges, but that is okay.

Only then it occured to me that the cooling fans blowing at 100% made all the difference. Their job is to cool whatever is in their path, so that is what they do. .. :-)

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If you try to avoid standard glass from warping, don't forget the effect of the print cooling fans.

I concur, but, (ain't there always a 'but'?) in my case, I was getting warping on prints with no fan. I even had bubble wrap taped to the front to hold in heat. I do not have a fancy way of detecting temp differences across my surfaces, so I am going off the posts to process the info, but it makes sense that the glass may have a different heat distribution based on several factors: Evenness of the glass surface (have read about the lack of constant thickness between centers and edges of supplied glass...banana shaped was one description), evenness of the heating source/ area, air leaks on one side or the other (heat the air, it rises and sucks in cool air from the most available opening it can get through) or just turbulence in the printing void as the head can whip around and such, stirring up the air and mixing from above.

Just ordered the Advanced printing kit and waiting for it to see if it helps. But at the same time, would like to hear about this glass and tmostad's experience.

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If you try to avoid standard glass from warping, don't forget the effect of the print cooling fans.

Some time ago I bought an infrared thermometer, and to my surprise the glass plate temp was *very* uneven: on a small print, in some areas it was 15°C cooler than in others.

So I tried heating the glass without printing, and then the temp was very nice and even, except at the last centimeter at the edges, but that is okay.

Only then it occured to me that the cooling fans blowing at 100% made all the difference. Their job is to cool whatever is in their path, so that is what they do. ..  :-)

I took IR pictures of the back of the aluminum print bed base and the gradient was clearly caused by uneven heat from the heating element. Here is an example:

FLIR0036.thumb.jpg.733e28afe2fa536a592bca54a1165219.jpg

FLIR0037.thumb.jpg.470e727580bb22323356098e451af145.jpg

I have often considered some kind of heat spreader but haven't yet come up with an idea that I like. I am hoping the glass will make a difference.

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Well I inquired and received this information, sharing if it helps others...

Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, we do not sell to the general public. I didn’t see a company name, but if you would be purchasing by a company I would be happy to get a quote for you. If not, please feel free to contact the dealer below for personal use ROBAX.

 

Woodman’s Parts Plus

800-522-8216

 

Best Regards,

Jennifer Hauser

Customer Service & Logistics Coordinator

SCHOTT North America, Inc.

ROBAX® Glass-Ceramics

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I received the Neoceram glass I ordered on-line. Unfortunately they cut it wrong (which you see in one of the pictures) but fortunately it was in the width dimension which means it hangs over the bed on the sides a bit but the clips still work. The black Neoceram is 5/32" thick which is about .001" thinner than 4mm so it fits the clips perfectly. One thing the website doesn't say is that the back has a fine grid texture. I installed the glass and heated the bed to 100 degrees C. Here are the IR photos:

5a333ca6a495f_2017-07-0316_52_47.thumb.jpg.d401a958bda7d392d6646d52e55a8554.jpg

5a333ca6bbfd2_2017-07-0316_52.47-2.thumb.jpg.931187571a016ecae55818d465f1992e.jpg

5a333ca6e5976_2017-07-0316_52.47-3.thumb.jpg.f3d63243bd75008b4f2f3763cc059d0c.jpg

You can see that there is still a 5+ degree gradient on the print bed.

I then did an auto-level of the bed and for the first time it worked for me. The first layer was amazingly consistent. I believe this proves the glass is a lot flatter than the stock glass. I then tried printing the large model (in Matterhackers PLA with the default Cura recipe) which has been giving me fits. On all previous prints the back left corner of the raft comes detached from the bed and curls up; the front left to a lesser degree and the right two corners remain mostly flat and attached. I use Wolfbite on the bed. Unfortunately the exact same thing happened again. I got about 40 layers into the print and the raft again detached. I'll post a picture.

BTW - I see this phenomenon with ABS also but even much worse.

Any ideas would be welcomed.

Edited by Guest

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I received the Neoceram glass I ordered on-line. Unfortunately they cut it wrong (which you see in one of the pictures) but fortunately it was in the width dimension which means it hangs over the bed on the sides a bit but the clips still work. The black Neoceram is 5/32" thick which is about .001" thinner than 4mm so it fits the clips perfectly. One thing the website doesn't say is that the back has a fine grid texture. I installed the glass and heated the bed to 100 degrees C. Here are the IR photos:

Where did you buy it online?

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I received the Neoceram glass I ordered on-line. Unfortunately they cut it wrong (which you see in one of the pictures) but fortunately it was in the width dimension which means it hangs over the bed on the sides a bit but the clips still work. The black Neoceram is 5/32" thick which is about .001" thinner than 4mm so it fits the clips perfectly. One thing the website doesn't say is that the back has a fine grid texture. I installed the glass and heated the bed to 100 degrees C. Here are the IR photos:

Where did you buy it online?

onedayglass.com

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