Kapton tape - an excellent surface for PLA
Am surprised Adam Meadows makes no mention of Kapton tape in Module 2 Episode 2 on bed surfaces. Will Kapton tape be mentioned in any future Module/s?
Though I have use builders tape, borosilicate glass, PEI and orange BuildTak, I have found that Kapton tape, correctly applied (using dilute washing-up liquid) gives excellent adhesion with PLA at 55 degrees C and have been using Kapton tape for the past two years with great success. Provided the Kapton surface is wiped down with IPA between prints, the bed adhesion for PLA is very good and the printed surface is as smooth and shiny as glass. Prints are also easy to remove without damaging the Kapton surface. I have not had to change my Kapton coated bed for over 6 months. The only reason I have had to change the tape in the past, is after damaging it removing TPU.
With TPU I have learnt NOT to use a heated bed. With a heated bed TPU sticks like the proverbial, which can lead to ripping holes in the Kapton tape when trying to remove prints.
I have not used Kapton for other materials as I do not have access to a well ventilated room for printing materials such as nylon, ABS and PETG.
Great question. It's not that we don't recommend Kapton tape, it's just that all things considered we find the differences between Kapton and Blue Painter's tape to be minimal. Generally however we find Blue painter's tape to adhere better with PLA, easier to apply and remove, and cheaper - so for these reasons we tend to recommend it over Kapton.
Although if you find Kapton works best with your situation, that's fantastic - why change what's not broken.
Hope that helps?
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