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blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

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Posted · blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

Hi all,

Because we're planning to print ABS and fit an hotbed on our Ultimaker, we've recently bought a big roll (33m x 10cm) of polyimide tape.

It's the perfect replacement for the blue tape, objects stick perfectly to the bed (on the original bed until we fit the MK2 hotbed), and they unstick without much force.

I was pretty annoyed during my latest blue-tape printings to clean the tape from the object and put back a piece of tape on the bed. Maybe our UM was not well adjusted, but I can really see the difference now.

Is anyone else using polyimide? Have you had any problem with this kind of tape?

Because we have so much of it (33meters, we need 40cm to fit the original bed, so it can fit 82 Ultimaker beds), we plan to make a kind of posting-chain:

- we send the tape to someone

- he/she roll it on its bed

- he/she send it to someone else

- we should be able to know where it is at a given time, and send it quickly to someone who needs it

- bonus if we can print a box to fit the tape, and customize this box along the way :)

What do you think about this? Who would like to participate?

Have a nice day,


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    Posted · blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

    I have used polyimide (Kapton) tape on my ulitmaker with pla, and i think it works really well, and you get a great gloss finish

    on the part which comes into contact with the tape.

    Also a lot easier to remove the parts off the tape after a print than the blue tape. You do have to accurately level

    you bed (i use a 0.05mm feeler gauge) but once this is done it works well and i have had no problem with the 1st layer not sticking.

    The only reason i am still using blue tape is i can only find 25mm wide kapton tape here in the UK, and it is a really

    pain to get the tape onto the bed without overlaps etc as it is very thin tape, also having to do lots of rows with

    each one being perfectly lined up takes a long time.

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    Posted · blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

    I would be interested in participating since I'm also not happy with the standard blue tape. However, depending on the weight of your roll, I guess shipping from country to country might cost some bucks. (I live in Germany)

    How much did you have to pay for that 33m roll? Kapton isn't inexpensive, is it? But I totally think switching there is worth the money.

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    Posted · blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

    It isn't that expensive really if you get it from Ebay. Now, of course, it could be "fake" but I've bought a small roll before and tested it with a soldering iron and it worked just fine.

    Here's a random wide(ish) roll I found with a quick search. This is not the one I bought so I can't say if it's good or not, but at ~$9 bucks it's not the end of the world:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/50mm-5cm-X-33m- ... 20c2b287e3


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    Posted · blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

    I actually bought the tape from that ebay link as soon as I saw is and it just arrived. Total cost incl shipping: 8 euro. I can get at least 10 beds covered from this one 50mm wide roll.

    Experience so far:

    * Harder to put on than the blue tape because it sticks better to the bed, it forms bubbles (compares to putting a screen protector on your phone) and if you pull to hard it deforms a bit.

    * Looks way better than blue tape

    * The first print (testing second now) looked perfect on the bottom side: mirror-like shine compared to a dull surface on blue tape

    * It seems to stick not as well as blue masking tape; that first print came loose and warped halfway during printing. However, aligning the bed a bit better (ie, pushing the nozzle closer to the surface) seems to fix it for now... waiting for the second print to finish.

    * Edit. Second print came off the bed halfway as well, but seemed to stick slightly better. Same corner released again, could be grease on the kapton or just the direction of most stress in the object. I just cleaned with ammonia and will try again :)

    ** Edit edit: I fixed it! I put blue tape on the critical parts of the build surface (the things that would unstick first) and left the kapton on the rest of the surface. I now have an unwarped parts with a 90% nice surface :D

    Googled a bit:

    * you're supposed to degrease the kapton to improve sticking

    * apparently, after a dozen or so prints, the kapton degrades and will stick less (I printed dozens of parts with one application of blue tape)

    * using a heated bed to 60 degrees will improve sticking, but I do not have a heated bed (and that wasn't needed with blue tape).

    I also found an interesting link on sticking on the Reprap forums:


    I'll try to post pics later, but for now I am really happy, just hope my prints keep to the bed :)

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    Posted · blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

    I thought the whole point of using the blue tape was the rough surface helped adhere the first layer?

    kapton tape is supposed to be for heated beds isn't it?

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    Posted · blue tape replaced by polyimide tape

    Yes, I think so, but that rough surface ruins the surface quality of your first layer. So far, I havent gotten anything decent of the kapton, so I think that I'll go back to blue tape until I get a heated bed.

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