Should You Print PETG on a BuildTak Print Surface? (Solved!)

The topic of bed adhesion is always a point of discussion when it comes to printing PETG filament, as, unlike PLA, getting PETG to adhere to the build surface correctly without sticking too loosely or too firmly is often a challenge.

While there are many components to improving bed adhesion, the first step is choosing the correct build surface, as no amount of software configuration will help if the filament doesn’t play well with the build surface.

In today’s article, we will examine the compatibility between PETG filament and one of the most popular printing surfaces on the market right now, known as BuildTak, in order to find out if the strength of adhesion between these two materials is feasible for a successful 3D printing process.

So, should you print PETG on a BuildTak print surface?

As long as you don’t print the PETG way too close to the surface, printing PETG on BuildTak should yield successful results where you won’t face any issues with either the PETG getting stuck entirely to the build surface or not sticking correctly and creating bed adhesion problems.

In the upcoming sections, we will analyze whether it’s suitable to print PETG on a BuildTak surface in more detail, find out how to get PETG off BuildTak without damaging the surface in scenarios where it’s stuck, and discuss how to get PETG to stick to BuildTak in cases where it doesn’t.

Should You Print PETG on a BuildTak Print Surface? 

Choosing the correct build surface is a vital part of avoiding bed adhesion issues down the line, as some filaments and surfaces don’t work with each other no matter how well you optimize the software side of things.

BuildTak is a build surface that you can indeed prefer for printing with PETG filament since there are no issues between these two materials that prevent correct adhesion and cause bed adhesion problems or cause them to get stuck to each other and become impossible to remove.

One vital point to keep in mind while printing PETG on BuildTak is to ensure there is enough space between the nozzle and the surface, preferably slightly more than the standard paper thickness length, to be safe, as printing PETG too closely to BuildTak can cause the two to get stuck.

At the end of the day, while BuildTak isn’t the definitive best build surface option for printing PETG, it will do the job just fine as long as you are careful with it.

How to Get PETG off BuildTak?

Observing that the model you have printed is entirely stuck to the build surface is always a nightmare scenario, especially if you intend to separate the two without causing damage to either the model or the build surface.

We highly recommend using the freezer method to get PETG off a BuildTak build surface, which essentially involves placing the BuildTak into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes and taking it out of the freezer to remove the PETG, and repeating this process until the two objects separate easily.

The shift in temperature resulting from applying the freezer method will eventually weaken the bonds between the BuildTak and the PETG, causing the PETG to come off the BuildTak without the need for any excessive force, as if they were never stuck together.

While the freezer method should do the job in most scenarios, in cases where the models are still stuck together after applying it, we would recommend carefully scraping the PETG off with a putty knife (preferably plastic to avoid causing damage) right after you take the BuildTak out from the freezer.

How to Get PETG to Stick to BuildTak?

In some cases, it’s possible for the plastic not to adhere to the build surface even though the two materials should naturally have a high degree of adhesion strength between each other.

Below, we have listed the things we recommend trying to get your PETG to stick to BuildTak correctly:

  • Clean the BuildTak surface thoroughly. By wiping the BuildTak surface with a soft cloth that you have either applied a mixture of soap and warm water or isopropyl alcohol, you can get any dirt and dust accumulated on the surface and restore your BuildTak’s adhesive properties.
  • Ensure that the nozzle is close enough to the build plate but not too close. Correctly leveling the bed and configuring the Z offset value are the two vital factors here, as an issue with either of them can cause the nozzle to get too far away from or too close to the build surface.
  • Reduce the initial layer print speed. An initial layer print speed that is lower will give the PETG more time to adhere to the BuildTak surface correctly, increasing the likelihood of not facing bed adhesion problems. An initial layer speed of 20% to 50% of the standard print speed is suitable.
  • Increase the initial layer nozzle temperature. An increased initial layer nozzle temperature will give the PETG better flow and allow it to extrude correctly, reducing the appearance of bed adhesion issues. An initial layer nozzle temperature of 10 to 15 degrees higher than the standard nozzle temperature is suitable.
  • Decrease the initial layer cooling fan speed. As the cooling fan can cause the plastic to solidify way too quickly, decreasing the initial layer fan speed, or even turning the fan off for the initial layer is a good idea to give the PETG more time to form strong bonds with the surface.
  • Increase the initial layer height value. Increasing the initial layer height value of the model will cause the initial layer to contain more plastic, which will allow it to adhere to the BuildTak more firmly. To find the optimal initial layer height value, we recommend multiplying the nozzle size of your 3D printer by 0.75.

Wrapping Up

As BuildTak is one of the go-to build surfaces, and PETG is the second most popular filament type in the 3D printing world right now, having an idea of how these two materials work with each other is definitely something to consider before investing in a BuildTak.

To quickly recap, the combination of PETG and BuildTak is one that works well without any problems, but as printing way too close to the build surface can potentially cause PETG to get stuck to the BuildTak, it’s vital to be on the careful side to avoid issues that can be damaging.

Since an improperly leveled bed and a Z offset value that isn’t configured correctly are the two primary culprits that can create a situation where the nozzle gets way too close to the build surface, paying extra attention to the two will most likely ensure that the printing process goes smoothly.

Happy printing!