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The best 3D printers are no longer a technology reserved for scientific and industrial purposes. Now, the best printers are affordable and available for use at home. And while there are many great options, every owner must understand how to remove a print from a 3D printer. Below, we’ll show you various removal methods to reduce the likelihood of damaging your object.
We have additional resources if you are looking for more information on how to use your printer correctly. For example, we have a more specialized guide explaining how to remove supports from 3D printers and another one explaining how to factory reset your 3D printer.
Every 3D object is attached to a print bed. And depending on the type of printer, you may need to incorporate an adhesive to keep the print object in place throughout the layering process. Sometimes removing the print from the bed can be trickier than you’d think.
If your 3D printer doesn’t have a heated bed, try using a hairdryer to get the bottom layers of the object to expand.
Of course, the goal is to get the print off the bed without causing any damage. To accomplish this, 3D printer owners must understand how they can safely get their objects off the bed.
Rember that there are many types of 3D printers. Therefore, some of these methods work better for specific 3D printers. However, the methods outlined below will work for any common 3D printer type.
This method is usually the first thing to try whenever you find an object that is stuck. Sometimes, if an object won’t come off, using your hands to lift, pull, or twist it off can be enough to detach it from the printer bed.
However, it’s essential to remember that using too much physical force can damage or break your printer or the object. So, especially if you’re dealing with a delicate or intricate print model, try a different way of extraction.
FDM printers often have a temperature-controlled bed that heats up during printing. The heat is meant to help with adhesion during the layering process, but sometimes the adhesion can be too strong.
However, applying some heat to the bed after the project is complete can help by causing the bottom layers of the object to expand. This expansion is sometimes necessary to get the object detached.
It’s important not to set the temperature too high when using this method, as it can melt the object too much and cause it to warp. As a general rule, don’t let the bed heat over 70 degrees celsius.
Cooling the bed works in a parallel fashion but in the exact opposite way. Cooling the bed causes the object’s particles to contract faster than the bed, increasing the likelihood of the item breaking away.
To cool the bed/object, you’ll need to detach the build plate. From there, you can get creative. For example, you could place the parts in your refrigerator or freezer, leave them outside if it’s chilly, or spray them with compressed air. However, remember that you can’t place the whole 3D printer in the fridge, as it may cause damage.
If you have a tool that has a thin, leverageable surface, you can likely use it to remove a stuck object. First, slide the tool between the object and the bed, and try to wedge it to create leverage. Then, slowly pry to try to get the object to lift off.
It’s crucial to pry slowly, as doing it too quickly may result in cracking or breaking the object. Also, if your tool has a sharp edge, be careful not to scrape the print bed or the object.
For more even leverage, which reduces the likelihood of the object breaking, try using multiple tools around the object and prying simultaneously.
Believe it or not, you can use a floss piece to remove an object from a 3D printer. It’s a great option if you have neither a heated print bed nor a good tool to pry with.
Failing to clean your build plate after use can cause adhesion issues and even cause warping to the next object you print.
Start by surrounding the base of the 3D print with the floss and move it in a sawing motion. Repeat the motion until the floss begins to move underneath the object. Eventually, it should work its way through and dislodge the object from the bed.
Lastly, you can use a liquid solution to weaken the base of the print object and get it to unlatch. Most recommend using 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol.
After creating the solution, place it near the base of the object. Then, you can either detach the build plate and place the entire thing in a tub or pour the solution directly onto the plate. Either way, make sure the solution is shallow enough so that it’s only touching the base.
Let the object sit in the solution for 15 minutes, then try to remove it or pry it off.
STAT: On average, printing a 3D object takes anywhere between 30 minutes and 12 hours. (source)