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Sticking too well to painters tape

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    Sticking too well to painters tape

    I read all the time about people having issues with a print curling up because it won't stick properly to painters tape laid down on the print bed. Somehow I seem to be having the opposite problem. When I print an object with a good amount of flat surface on the bottom of the object it sticks so well to the painters tape that I find it very difficult to remove it. I have to use a putty knife to try and get the printed part away from the painters tape while it is stuck to the glass print bed. Some of the tape will end up separating from the printed part and remaining stuck to the glass print bed but a lot will rip away and remain stuck to the printed part.

    Anyone have a good solution for how to remove the painters tape that remains firmly adhered to the printed part? I have been scraping it with a single edge razor blade but that doesn't work very well.

    Thanks in advance for the help

    Wow, Ive not really heard of this happening. What plastic are you printing with? Whenever I have printed with painters tape, when the part has cooled down the tape just pulls off with minimal effort.

    Is your printer nozzle too low and actually "digging" into the tape on the first layer? Or perhaps you are printing at a very high temperature for your plastic?

    Cheers, - sale now on
    Will @ 3DEX Ltd /


      If you are, essentially, squashing the first layer then perhaps this is causing it to stick too well, pushing the plastic into all the bumps and crevices that you can get with painters tape/masking tape.

      Like @3Dex, we have not had this experience, we had it with some branded 3D printer adhesive, the model was impossible to get off and we damaged the model in the process.

      We have moved to Kapton tape now but we have found that it was easier to remove models from the masking tape.

      Do you have a heated print bed? We don't print on a non-heated bed so this may be the reason for our differing experience. Your one stop, 3D printing shop


        Thanks for the replies. I am printing with PLA on a non-heated bed. My print head isn't touching the tape but, now that you mention it, I'm wondering if I'm setting it so low that I'm squishing the first layer into the tape so that it adheres into the nooks and crannies of the crinkly texture of the painters tape. When I pull the printed object away from the tape I can actually see the pattern of the tape embossed into the plastic. I will try raising my print head a hair.

        I was also thinking about trying a different approach of spraying the glass print bed with sticky hairspray and skipping the tape altogether. Any thoughts on this approach?

        Thanks again for the help!


          If the first layer is squished that can make for a nice smooth finish. I would print with a heated bed, then the expanding and contraction will do the job for you.

 Your one stop, 3D printing shop


            Blue painters tape is a good solution for printing PLA on a cold bed.

            Whatever method I use to adhere a print to the bed I don't squash the first layer. It is the same as later ones.

            Even a heated bed with glass can be problematic. If your glass is less than 3mm thick the heated bed PCB will cause the glass to bow upwards in the centre. This can lead to chipping of the glass when a print is removed.

            I am avoiding this now by using BuildTak on 3mm glass and setting the initial layer height as accurately as possible.


              I would adjust your print height up by .1mm at a time till the problem goes away...


                Thanks again for all the helpful replies. Unfortunately, I don't have a heated bed. It isn't an option on my printer, a Next Wave Automation Piranha Fx (combo CNC router, Laser Engraver, and 3D printer). I like the Piranha Fx but being a proprietary technology machine technical details are sparse so I am not sure how I could even hook one up to the controller. I would have to go with a heated bed option that is standalone with its own temperature controller and, as I'm just getting started in 3D printing, I haven't gone that route yet.

                I'm going to try some more prints playing with raising the starting height of the print head and see how that goes. I'll post back my results.

                Thanks again for the help.


                  Adjusting the print head height has made a significant difference. THANKS!!


                    Im glad you found out the cause of the issue and have now fixed your printer.

                    Happy printing!
                    Will @ 3DEX Ltd /


                      Thank you!


                        Ok sorry I didn't read all of the replies but this is funny because lately on a few things that I wanted to be absolutely certain would not warp on the surface or come loose I ran into this same sort of thing.

                        I had a heated bed, painters tape, AND gluestick LOL

                        Oh they certainly did stick alright. Talk about overcompensation to the extreme. But once I managed to wrestle them off the heated, glass, taped and glued surface they were beautifully straight LOL


                          Originally posted by applekeith View Post
                          I would adjust your print height up by .1mm at a time till the problem goes away...
                          What is the best way to adjust the print height?


                            @SpikeFiend: If your printer uses Marlin firmware, you can tweak your Z height with "M206 Z0.nn" which provides an additional offset (it may be negative). Keep the value small - hence the 0. in my example.

                            You can measure the height of the skirt around your object and offset the Z height by the difference between layer height and the measured value.

                            This will be a cumulative value i.e. you need to add any new Z offset to any previously set with M206.
                            Last edited by neildarlow; 03-01-2016, 07:37 AM.


                              I am having the same problem and that's how I searched and found this conversation. Incredible stick and remnants of blue tape difficult to remove from print. I use a heated bed and after reading your comments, sounds like I am printing to low. I was using the glue stick with great success but eventually the glue built up and began tearing off. Making the bed uneven and pitted. Actually really liked the glue stick but the total clean off of glass to start fresh with a level bed, was even more difficult than the blue tape experience and went back to blue tape. Excited to set print height up and see the results. Thank you.


                                Any solutions on removing the stuck tape to prints? Anything that will dissolve the adhesive but not the PLC? Thanks

                                UPDATE - I found an excellent solution. Nail polish remover and q-tips. Dip q-tips in nail polish remover, dampen the tape adhesive, then use swab end as an eraser, letting the cotton bottom out to the stick, using the stick as a scraper. Works incredibly well. For larger parts, as soon an the dampened tap edge releases, try to grab it and hole sheets will peel off.
                                Last edited by daveblueeyes; 09-10-2018, 10:40 AM. Reason: found a solution...


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