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Benjamin Goldschmidt

How can I permanently bond 3D printed PLA to glass?

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3D printing gurus,

I'm looking for a way to permanently bond 3D printed PLA to glass (specifically microscope glass). Is there any reasonable way to do this without resorting to epoxies?

Awaiting your knowledge and experience,

-Needing to attach a 3D print to glass permanently but I can't figure out how
 

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Epoxies will be your best bet for what you term 'permanent'. There are a lot of glues that will hold, but can still break a bond when trying to put something like a plastic glued to a glass.

 

I think it would be best to look at your local hardware store and try a few. For instance, gluing PLA to PLA, I have found that testors model glue can do a decent job but even then it can still separate when a force acts upon it. But there are so many glues out there now.

 

I would suggest gluing with something that is used to glue glass together. Maybe aquarium glue, Cyanoacrilates seem to be popular. I just did a search and there are a few options for gluing glass. I would think that if it will grip glass, it will bond most anything. And there is a lot of overlap with that and a search for gluing glass to plastic.

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For bonding PLA to PLA, I use cyanoacrylates. Just the plain standard liquid 3ml tubes, as found in any shop, Loctite at this moment. These work very well on Ultimaker PLA and colorFabb PLA/PHA. When breaking the bond, often it breaks not in the glue-interface, but in the PLA itself, which means the bonding is good. Roughening the PLA-surface a little bit (but not too much) with a file also helps. Since cyanoacrylates are said to bond to glass too, it should work. Keep in mind that for cyanoacrylates, thinner layers of glue give stronger bondings: the best is a layer of only a few molecules thick. So, do not make the surface too rough.

 

For NGEN and PET, cyanoacrylates do not work so well in my experience: they do bond, but can not withstand as much force as PLA.

 

I haven't tried composites on PLA yet.

 

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