Can you directly 3D print on an aluminum bed?
The answer is yes and adhesive substance is needed to achieve good sticking performance, but there are a few pros and cons that need to take into consideration:
- Aluminum can conduct heat very well
- Even out the temperature across the print bed
- High measure of conductivity
- Doesn’t required glue stick
- Doesn’t break due to a hotend crash
- Lightweight material reduces the load on Z axis
- Works with filaments that don’t require high bed temperature
- Cleaning off residue can lead to scratches on the aluminum bed
- Likely to experience convex or convave shape (center greater than sides) over time on heated aluminum bed
- Can warp and expand as it heats up, which lead to bed leveling issue with thickness tolerance
- Requires rigorous treatment to take care of it
Regardless of which print bed you use to print your project, the main goal is to make the part stick to the bed as long as it can until the print is completed, so it doesn’t tip over, shift, or curl, leading to disastrous print results.
There is no single bed type that can work the best for every type of filament material. All of them have their positives and negatives.
Use These Tips When Printing On Aluminum Bed
- Apply hairspray on top to increase surface adhesion, especially when printing ABS material.
- When printing PLA material on alumumium, no adhesive is needed
- When printing directly to aluminum bed, always test a few layer before committing to finish the entire project. If it starts to warp – stop!
Aluminum bed VS glass – Which is better & less headache?
Glass tends to be flatter, easier to maintain, and clean overall. Based on the pros and cons, the pros outweigh the cons when compared to the aluminum beds.