Poor bed adhesion, especially with PETG filament, is a topic that we commonly hear about, where the solution is usually correctly configuring the print settings that are vital for bed adhesion, such as nozzle temperature, bed temperature, and first layer height.
On the other hand, another way for increasing the adhesion capabilities between the build plate and the plastic is to directly apply adhesives to the surface, which offers a quick and effortless way to solve the issue even if your print settings aren’t as optimal as they could be.
Today, our topic is the suitability of usage of Kapton tape as an adhesive for 3D printing with PETG filament, which may offer us a shortcut to fix the bed adhesion that runs rampant with PETG by providing a more adhesive surface.
So, is Kapton tape a suitable adhesive for 3D printing with PETG?
Kapton tape is a suitable adhesive for 3D printing with PETG, offering a surface that PETG sticks quite well to in almost all scenarios, especially when you combine it with a glue stick.
In the upcoming sections, we will analyze the suitability of Kapton tape for printing with PETG in more detail, find out the cases where it’s optimal to use Kapton tape, and discuss whether Kapton tape is a necessity for 3D printing with PETG or not.
Is Kapton Tape a Suitable Adhesive for 3D Printing with PETG?
As PETG is infamous for the bed adhesion issues it causes, a suitable adhesive that will strengthen the bonds between PETG and the build plate by the correct amount is highly beneficial to the printing process.
You can not go wrong with Kapton tape for printing with PETG if you are having issues related to bed adhesion, as PETG easily sticks to Kapton tape without any problems.
While not always necessary, applying a glue stick to the surface of the Kapton tape before the printing process is often pretty helpful as the glue stick acts as a separating agent, making it easier to remove the PETG from the Kapton tape.
Alongside its primary purpose of strengthening the adhesion, it’s worth mentioning that Kapton tape also acts as a protective layer for your bed, as you can quickly dispose of it and replace it in the case of damage, which would be cheaper than replacing the print bed.
If you are looking for a more permanent solution that provides similar results to Kapton tape, we recommend using a powder-coated PEI sheet to print PETG, which you can easily attach to and remove from your print bed.
When to Use Kapton Tape for 3D Printing with PETG?
While Kapton tape can be pretty beneficial when used in the right scenarios, knowing when to apply it to the build surface is a vital part of the process.
As the primary purpose behind the usage of Kapton tape is to increase the strength of adhesion between the PETG and the build plate, the apparent answer to the question is that you should use it if you’re experiencing poor bed adhesion while printing with PETG filament.
On the other hand, as there are plenty of adhesives that serve a similar purpose, let’s talk about the specific qualities that Kapton tape brings in contrast to other options.
- Kapton tape acts as a protective layer for the build plate.
- Kapton tape lasts longer than all of its alternatives.
- Kapton tape provides a smoother finish than its alternatives in most cases.
- Kapton tape can withstand very high temperatures, making it suitable to print other filament types.
As always, we recommend weighing all of your options before deciding on an adhesive, as preparation is a vital part of achieving an optimal printing process.
Is Kapton Tape Necessary for 3D Printing with PETG?
There is no doubt that Kapton tape is a fantastic addition to the 3D printing process with the adhesive capabilities it brings to the table, but whether it’s a necessity for a successful print with PETG filament is another question.
While Kapton tape brings many benefits to the 3D printing process, especially while printing with PETG filament, its usage is not entirely necessary for a successful print.
As it’s entirely possible to print PETG without requiring any extra adhesives, and considering that there are plenty of other options to choose from if you do need one, the usage of Kapton tape is not a necessity but a choice.
On the other hand, even though it’s not a necessity, we highly recommend having a roll of Kapton tape handy if you frequently print with PETG filament, as a situation to use it may arise at some point.
Kapton Tape vs. Electrical Tape for 3D Printing with PETG
As electrical tape is another highly popular adhesive for 3D printing with PETG, let’s find out how Kapton tape compares to it and see whether it’s a better option or not.
In the case of printing with PETG filament, both Kapton tape and electrical tape can fulfill the purpose of improving the bed adhesion, with a few differences to separate the two in other areas:
- Ease of application – Kapton tape can be a demanding material to work with, meaning that it’ll most likely be more challenging to apply to and remove from the build plate. On the other hand, using electrical tape is extremely simple, as it allows you to perform corrections without issues.
- Longevity – As long as you refrain from damaging it, you can use the Kapton tape for several prints, making it the better option in terms of longevity.
- Finish – As Kapton tape is smooth, your model will come off clean, whereas, in the case of electrical tape, you may have to do some sanding on the areas that come off.
- Price – Kapton tape is considerably more expensive than blue painter’s tape, but as it lasts longer, you may be able to offset the price difference.
As bed adhesion issues are common with PETG, using an adhesive is often a good idea as it usually provides a quick and easy way to improve the strength of adhesion between the object and the build plate.
To quickly recap, Kapton tape is definitely something you can use to get your PETG to adhere better, as PETG sticks pretty firmly to Kapton, sometimes to the point where it can be hard to separate the two.
Because of this, a combination of Kapton tape and a glue stick is often the preference for printing PETG, where the layer of glue makes it much easier to separate the PETG from the Kapton without damaging anything.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.