In 3D printing, there are various types of tape that can be used for different purposes. The choice of tape depends on the specific 3D printing technology being used and the desired outcome. Here are some common types of tape used in 3D printing:
Blue Painter's Tape (Masking Tape): Blue painter's tape is one of the most popular choices for 3D printing. It is typically used on heated build platforms (heated beds) for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printers. The rough surface of the tape provides good adhesion for the first few layers of the print and is easy to remove once the print is finished.
Kapton Tape: Kapton tape is a high-temperature-resistant polyimide film tape often used in 3D printing when printing with materials that require higher print bed temperatures, such as ABS. It provides a flat, smooth surface and can handle high heat without melting.
PEI (Polyetherimide) Sheets: PEI sheets are a popular choice for printing with materials like ABS and PETG. They offer good adhesion when heated and provide a flat surface. PEI sheets are durable and can be reused many times if properly maintained.
BuildTak Sheets: BuildTak is a brand of adhesive printing surface that is applied directly to the build platform. It offers good adhesion for a wide range of 3D printing materials and is known for its ease of use. It comes in both removable and permanent versions.
Polyimide (PI) Tape: Similar to Kapton tape, polyimide tape is used for high-temperature 3D printing. It can handle the heat generated by materials like PEEK and ULTEM, making it suitable for industrial applications.
PEI Coated Spring Steel Plates: Some 3D printers come with build plates that are coated with a thin layer of PEI on top of a spring steel sheet. These plates are designed for easy print removal when the plate is flexed, and they offer excellent adhesion when heated.
Glue Stick or Hairspray: While not technically a tape, some users apply glue stick or hairspray directly to the build surface to improve adhesion. This method is commonly used with glass build plates.
The choice of tape or surface depends on factors like the 3D printing technology, the type of material being printed, and personal preferences. It's essential to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific 3D printer and material to achieve the best results. Additionally, regular maintenance and cleaning of the build surface are crucial to ensuring consistent print quality.