The biggest difficulty faced by people while 3D printing is making sure that their models stick to the print bed. Adhesion is crucial to avoid movement during printing otherwise your models will end up being curled or warped. This is why most 3D printer manufacturers recommend the use of a glue stick to avoid print failures. But for this, you must know how to use a glue stick on a 3D printer.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is the process of manufacturing three-dimensional models from digital CAD files. It is also called additive manufacturing because it is achieved by laying down multiple thin layers of material (PLA, ABS, resins, nylon, etc.). It is the best way to build 3D models using much less material as opposed to other popular manufacturing methods.
3D printing is used in a variety of industries, engineering being the most popular one. It is used for prototyping and building lightweight geometries, making jewelry, prosthetics, architecture, etc.
Need for adhesiveness while 3D printing
Adhesiveness is absolutely necessary while 3D printing if you want your prints to come out fine. Adhesion helps the print/model to stick to the surface of the print bed so that the prints stay in place and don’t come out shifted or curled. Although there are a lot of different types of adhesion techniques available, the glue stick is by far the cheapest and the most effective one. Following are the advantages of glue sticks for 3D printing-
- It involves a simple cleanup.
Adhesive solutions such as tape, have a tendency of leaving behind a residue that is difficult to remove. But glue sticks allow you to quickly wash off the print bed with water in order to remove any residue.
- It can be applied easily.
Glue sticks are applied directly onto the print bed, making them easy to use. Other adhesives such as the spray adhesive leave behind the sticky overspray and the tape has a problematic application and often leaves bubbles.
- It offers easy print removal.
Glue sticks aren’t super adhesive which is important for the removal of the model after printing is complete.
But how do you apply a glue stick to a 3D printer?
You can take any water-soluble glue stick and gently apply a very thin layer of the glue over the print bed. It is up to you to apply the glue to either apply the glue to the entire print bed or only the part where the printing will take place. Also if you’re applying a thin layer of glue then you might want to apply it after each layer is printed. After a while, you will notice glue accumulating on the surface of the print bed.
You can wash off this excess residue from the print bed with the help of warm water and you can use a paper towel to dry it off. Since the bed is waterproof you can completely submerge it in water. We strictly recommend against the use of a dishwasher for cleaning the print bed. Make sure that before you start printing, the bed is clean with no plastic from previous prints and does not contain any glue residue.
Now the next important thing is what glue to use for a 3D printer? The most popularly used glue stick for 3D printing is the Elmers disappearing purple glue stick. The fact that it’s one of the most recommended glue sticks is because of the color-changing effect it offers. On application, the glue has a purple color, and later on the color changes once it dries. This proves to be especially helpful in ensuring that the glue has been evenly applied onto the print bed.
1. How to apply glue stick on 3D printer bed?
Take any glue stick and gently apply a thin layer over the print bed. You can either apply it on the entire surface or just the part where printing will take place.
2. How to glue 3D prints together?
In case you want to print a model that is bigger than your 3D printer, you can stick two 3D prints together. Superglue is the tried and tested way of sticking two 3D prints together.
3. What glue to use on 3D printed plastic?
Elmer’s disappearing purple glue stick is the most effective one.