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[SOLVED] Tips on getting ABS to stick to the print bed


Decided to abort an 18h print job cuz 2 hours in and the base is starting to curl. Any thoughts on how to get a better adhesion for ABS? I’m using a filament from IC3D on an Ultimaker 2, heated print bed and 230 degrees extrusion temp.

Franks berry much!


If you are printing on blue tape, have you tried printing with brims or creating mouse ears for the model?


Warning: TLTR, possibly confusing, and definitely frustrating.

Shrinkage from air-cooling is the problem. Straight line perimeter walls very prone to this. Overhanging perimeter wall, especially corners, are going to be difficult.

  1. Blue tape is coated with a sealer, so should be lightly sanded w/240grit, then cleaned w/alcohol. As Tanya suggested, add “ears” to the corners. (they come in different sizes). Cut them off later.
  2. Use a Removable glass plate, instead of tape (adjust Z-height home to compensate for glass thickness) Apply "Aquanet Superhold hairspray, 6 light-thin layers for new glass, allow to dry for each application(tip: use hairdryer), then just 1 application for “seasoned” glass(allow to dry). Pop finished print in to the freezer for 2-3min, and the object will remove effortlessly.
    This only work for me, for objects up to 2-3 inches wide.
  3. use ABS Slurry, on removable glass plate. (you can do it on the U2, but it’s messy, and I don’t like accidentally pulling on the bed-springs, while trying to remove the print from the glass-bed)
    This is the BEST solution for larger objects. (I test-printed a 8x6x1/2" slab of ABS, and it stayed perfect flat). Paint it on fast and thick. This becomes your “sacrificial” 1st layer, as it will “pre-shrink”, once it is dry, and your 1st will bond to that base layer, better. It isn’t very smooth, so you will have to start your actual 1st layer of your print, about +0.2or+0.3mm, above the bed.(typically 0.1mm, for .2mm L.H.)

If you continue to have issues with warping corners during the rest of the print, here’s a few more tricks:

  • Modifying the printer, with a Fully-Enclosed build chamber, will help to trap heat and reduce the possibility of warping.
    - Find a appropriately size plastic storage bin to fit the top of the U2, cut a slot out of the back,
    big enough to accommodate the cables, (thru all it’s possible movements).
    - Add a clear acrylic front door.
    - Interior ambient-air temp should be 100-110F(37-43C). I temporarily add hot air to the chamber
    (w/ hairdryer) , while the bed is coming up to operating temperature.

Top-secret, crazy, and possibly dangerous trick: CHEAT! lol. I use my secret weapon, called the “Flatula”, (like spatula),(defined as: “flat you shall lay”) for corners that are misbehaving, It’s a piece of flat metal, 12"long x 3/4"wide x 1/8"thick. By placing the cold metal, on a hot-soft corner, “while the machine is operating, and on the other side of the print”, you can help to temporarily flatten a “lifting-edge”. (did I mention “risky”? = yes)


How hot was the bed?

I print ABS with the bed at 110C on blue tape. I don’t do anything special to the blue tape. Some thoughts though:

Print the first couple of layers nice and slow and make sure it is really smooshed down into the tape. Your printer should be enclosed…At the very least tape a piece of cardboard around the 3 open sides.

That should be good enough…the problem I usually have is getting the print off the build platform, it sticks too well…If you have this problem make sure the bed is hot before trying to pull the print off.



Thanks y’all! Gonna try these tips till I find something that works ^^



Success!! Here’s how I got around the ABS curling and not sticking to the print bed problem:

I tried adding mouse ears, which turns out is not the simple choice since I had to download a design program to do that. But it didn’t work… lifted off the print bed anyway, the curling force was too strong!

I adjusted the print bed to get a good “smoosh”, sanded the blue tape a bit, reduced the print size to 180% instead of 200%, added a brim, changed the shell thickness to 0.8mm instead of 1mm. I also tried to keep the hot air as contained as possible by taping pieces of cardboard over the open sides of the printer and turned down the printer’s cooling fans. ( No Flatula applied! XD )

I can’t be sure which factor played the biggest role in getting the whale to print. I think the brim helped tremendously, but it could be other factors like reducing the size, etc. Should I be a nerd and reproduce the print with an isolated factor, such as ONLY adding a brim?? Perhaps one day… at 200% this whale would have taken 18+ hours.

Ah well! Time to clean up the print and maybe do some sanding and painting! :smile:



Nice job! Clever quick-fab DIY enclosure, as you may have noticed, doesn’t have to be airtight, mostly just keeps light breezes from entering, and trapping a little extra heat is just a bonus to help. My first quick-fab was just clear wide-packing tape, it worked fine for months, but removal from the machine surface was not fun, doh!.
I forgot to mention “BuildTak”, as a bluetape replacement. It holds better than bluetape, but makes removal a little more difficult. Balancing “Stick vs Removal”, is why there is so many different approaches. It kinda depends on what filament material you are going to use, and which machine you’re using.
Print bed Fans can be completely turned-off, for ABS. Unless they are also working to cool the hotend, on the U2, so reducing fan-speed would be fine.
Tip for painting: Primer for prepping ABS, for acrylic paints: I use spray-cans for priming large objects. It’s fast and fills-in everything.
1 coat “Rust-o-leum 2X, Ultra-cover, for plastic”.
1 coat “Filler-primer”, (@autoparts). then sand that out.
1 coat “Rust-o-leum 2X, Ultra-cover, for plastic”.
If I’m going to airbrush a small object, I stick with specific airbrush primers for their paints.
Congrats on your smooth print, challenge conquered !!

Duplicat =^…^=


Bed of 110, that is way to high this is what is making your print curl, Try and turn your bed down to 60, and if it’s just normal PLA the nozzle at no more that 200, you will see the difference, and make sure the bed is clean if it’s the blue tape clean with a damp lint free cloth cleaned In soapy water,