Cleaning a 3D printer bed may look simple and easy theoretically, but practically it is not easy as thought. Especially when cleaning Ender 3 V2 bed one needs to follow certain procedures which will be discussed below:
Are you thinking about how to clean a glass 3D printer bed? One of the simple ways to clean a glass bed is by slightly heating it and then applying a cleaning solution like acetone, soapy water, or window cleaner to the printer bed. Leave it for a minute to work on dirt and then clean with a paper towel. If the dirt is too stubborn, then you can scrape it using a tool. Lastly, do a final wipe to make it completely clean.
Most of the time, the residues of the previously printed filament will badly stick to the 3D printer beds. The difficulty arises when cleaning these strongly stuck filament residues.
Removal of these filaments is highly important otherwise, they affect the adhesion of future prints. If not cleaned, these residues will mix and get mixed with a new filament onsetting the adhesion problems. This can potentially ruin the whole print if not taken care of.
In this blog, we will cover the solutions for cleaning adhesive residues and left-over filament residues.
How to Clean Ender 3 / V2/ Pro Bed
One of the easy methods for Ender 3 V2 Bed cleaning is to use a scraping tool and scrape off the leftover residues. This method can clean both adhesive and filament residues that were used in the previous print.
While this method looks simple to implement, sufficient care is needed while applying enough force because the scraper may pierce into your fingers and harm you.
Hold the scraper properly with its handle in a downward direction and apply pressure to peel off the residues.
This method can work efficiently to clean Ender 3 V2 bed to a good standard to be used for the next print.
One of the best scrapers is Reptor Print Removal Kit which has a spatula set and premium knife with it. The grip this tool offers is awesome and it is made of hard stainless steel.
Applying massive forces while cleaning Ender 3 V2 Glass Bed is not recommended as it can create major scratches and sometimes even break the print bed if it is glass.
If this manual scraping method doesn’t work, then usage of some chemical solution is preferred to clean out the residues.
Many other users have also tried warm soap water along with a sponge and have seen good results.
Ensure that the sponge doesn’t contain more water in it as there are power supply units, heating units, and other electrical parts beneath the print bed.
Wet the sponge lightly and rub on the residue until it gets softened and goes away. Multiple rubs are needed before the residue leaves the bed.
When the residue remains uncleaned for a long time it turns highly stubborn and sticks strongly to the print surface. It is suggested to slightly heat the print bed to soften and then wipe them out with a paper towel.
Warm cleaning is a lot easier than cold cleaning.
Here’s a summary:
- Make use of a Scrapper with force to peel off the residues.
- Use cleaning solutions such as Window cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, and others. Let it for some time to wet up and break the residues. Now use the scraper again.
The 3D printers are always prone to accumulate dust on them irrespective of their location. Hook or crook, clean the bed before printing for great layer adhesion. Many new users struggle and encounter first-layer adhesion issues without knowing this simple fact.
How to Clean Glue on a Glass Bed / Build Plate?
Many 3D users will make use of 3D printing Adhesives by laying them on the print bed to improve adhesion and prevent warping.
In addition to Adhesives, people also apply some glue in the area where the object sits on the bed. This glue remains on the print bed as residue and needs to be clean before the next prints.
Remove the glass plate and apply some good cleaning solutions such as Acetone, window cleaner, etc to clean out the residue. This works better than warm water cleaning and clears out the residues.
Below are the steps involved in cleaning out the Glue on the 3D printer bed:
- Firstly, clean your hands and keep them dry before starting.
- Take a paper towel and make 2 to 3 folds of it.
- Now apply the cleaning solution in a small quantity of 5 to 6 drops on glass bed residues.
- Allow the solution for some time to break down the residues on the glass bed.
- Now start wiping with a folded paper towel with light pressure on the glass surface.
- Repeat the process until all the glue, adhesive, and filament residues are cleaned.
Once the surface cleaning is over, it should shine and no residues should be felt when touched with hands on the glass bed. Make sure that the 3D printer bed surface is clear and clean.
How To Clean PLA Residues on a Glass Bed?
PLA is a widely used filament in the 3D printing space. The methods for cleaning PLA off a glass bed remain the same as above.
As compared to other filaments, PLA is easy to remove as it is not a hard filament. PLA has a less glass transition temperature, hence slight heating of the print bed would do the trick.
Many 3D users won’t clean the bed if the previous PLA color is the same as the next print. The leftover PLA residue will easily melt and mix up with the new filament and stick to the surface. However, this is not true in all cases, thus cleaning of the print bed for PLA is always recommended.
To clean PLA off a glass bed, I use a simple razor blade and scrape the glass.
How To Clean ABS Residues on A Glass Bed?
Cleaning ABS off a Glass bed can be easy with Acetone. This is because Acetone breaks and dissolves the ABS residues on the glass bed. Apply Acetone and allow it to do its job for a minute. Now wipe the residues using a paper towel or cotton soft cloth. No need to heat up the bed or apply much force if you are using Acetone to clean ABS.
If you are not using the glass bed yet, then refer to the below links to buy a good glass bed for your 3D printer. All the below ones have great reviews and competitive prices on Amazon:
Below are the links to buy Borosilicate Glass for different 3D printer models:
- Monoprice Select Mini V1, V2 – 130 x 160 x 3mm
- Creality Ender 3/X,Ender 3 Pro, Ender 5, CR- 20, CR-20 Pro, Geeetech A10 – 235 x 235 x 4mm
- Monoprice Mini Delta – 120mm round x 3mm
- Prusa i3 MK2, MK3, Anet A8 – 220 x 220 x 4mm
- Creality CR-10, CR-10S, CRX, Ultimaker S3, Tevo Tornado – 310 x 310 x 3mm (thickness)
I am Ganesh Divte. I work as a Quality Assurance Engineer at Dhruvtara WireTech PVT LTD. I have experience in SLS, DMSL, FDM, and SLA additive manufacturing processes. I am very enthusiastic about additive manufacturing and its potential to change the way we manufacture products. I believe that Additive Manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing industry and make it more efficient and sustainable.