Painter’s tape comes in more than a dozen hues, but most 3D printing enthusiasts use blue or green, while some have tried both. Since many people wonder if either is better than the other, it’s necessary to understand the different types of painter’s tape to determine which is the best.
Blue and green painter’s tapes for 3D printing are excellent options for increasing bed adhesion. Both blue and green painter’s tapes can be just as ideal for 3D printing, but some specific brands may be better for certain applications than others, depending on the particular tape’s adhesives.
Many people imply DuckTape and 3M Scotch when they talk about blue painter’s tape and the likes of FrogTape while referring to green. However, blue and green painter’s tapes can have almost identical characteristics. So, which is the best if there’s hardly any difference? Let’s talk about it.
Blue vs. Green painter’s Tape for 3D Printing: The Facts
Comparing blue and green painter’s tapes is a futile exercise if you don’t delve into the technical differences.
Let me share a few facts to help you understand the differences between these tapes:
- 3 M’s 2750 Blue and 233+ Green are almost the same painter’s tape for 3D printing.
- However, 3 M’s 2750 Blue isn’t the same as its Scotch Original 2090 Blue painter’s tape.
- Also, 3 M’s 2090 Blue differs from the company’s Scotch 2080 Blue painter’s tape.
- Furthermore, the 233+ Green differs from 3 M’s 2480S Sea Green, 2055 and 2060.
I’ll simplify all these product numbers and the technical differences. However, the facts are necessary to avoid misconceptions. I have found people saying that green painter’s tape is more affordable than blue. That’s false because 3M’s green tape costs more than its original blue.
Likewise, FrogTape’s green variant costs more than the blue version because the latter sells in bulk. Also, FrogTape’s blue is of a different quality. So, the comparison is unsupported.
Still, beyond all such issues is the simple quest of figuring out the best painter’s tape for 3D printing. Let’s dive into the details and figure it out!
A Comparative Study of 5 Blue and Green Painter’s Tapes for 3D Printing
I have selected the five most popular blue and green painter’s tapes that are available on Amazon.com for this comparative study:
- 3M Scotch 2090 Original Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape (Blue)
- Duck Clean Release Painter’s Tape (Blue)
- FrogTape 242750 Pro Painter’s Tape (Blue)
- FrogTape Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape (Green)
- 3M Scotch High-Performance Masking Tape (Green)
Some fundamental differences between these tapes include that FrogTape has PaintBlock technology, which DuckTape doesn’t. 3M uses different adhesives for its various products. However, I’ll not dwell on the technicalities that aren’t relevant to 3D printing.
That said, let me highlight the differences that matter for 3D printing with thermoplastic filaments:
|Features||3M OG Blue||Duck Blue||Frog Blue||Frog Green||3M Green|
|Max Width||2.83” (72 mm)||1.88” (48 mm)||1.41” (36 mm)||1.88” (48 mm)||2” (51 mm)|
|Max Temp||Room temp||Room temp||Room temp2||Room temp||250°F (121°C)|
|Removal||14 days||14 days||14 days||21 days||3 days3|
- 3M Green and a few of its Scotch painter’s tapes have natural rubber as the adhesive.
- FrogTape’s Light Blue variant is temperature resistant up to 250 °F (121 °C).
- The 3M Sea Green painter’s tape offers clean removal for up to 60 days.
- 3M’s Blue 2750 painter’s tape has strong adhesive and is temperature resistant up to 250 °F (121 °C), like its Green tape. The 3M Blue 2080 isn’t temperature resistant, but it has a flat back that is useful for a neat base layer finish in 3D printing.
As you can infer from the table, both blue and green painter’s tapes may be equally good, based on your 3D printer and the characteristics you want.
Many other companies manufacture painter’s tape, including blue and green variants. These tapes are as wide as 4 to 6 inches (102 to 152 mm). Some are heat resistant, whereas others are not.
Similarly, these painter’s tapes don’t have equivalent heat resistance.
Even the likes of 3M Blue and Green or FrogTape Light Blue cannot endure high temperatures for a long time. Most can bake for a maximum of 30 minutes. The other tapes are only suitable for unheated print beds.
Now that we’ve assessed the differences, let me get to the bottom line. Which is best or better between blue and green painter’s tape for 3D printing?
Blue vs. Green painter’s Tape for 3D Printing: There’s No Winner
Both blue and green painter’s tapes may use natural rubber adhesives. These glues can’t stay on your printer bed for long as they will leave a residue. Acrylic adhesives can last as long as the manufacturer’s recommendation, provided you use an unheated 3D printer bed.
Most blue and green painter’s tapes can’t endure heat, so you have the following options if you use a heated 3D printer bed:
- 3M Green (233+), Sea Green (2480S), and Blue (2750). However, note that the Sea Green tape isn’t as strong as the other two.
- FrogTape Light Blue. This product is not Blue or Green, but a different grade of painter’s tape. Check out Frog’s Pink or 3M’s Gold if you want more temperature resistance.
Lastly, your application decides whether or not either blue or green painter’s tape will serve your purpose. Here are a few suggestions to make both varieties work for 3D printing:
- Always clean the print bed before applying painter’s tape, whether blue or green.
- Use rubbing alcohol (IPA) or glass cleaner, depending on your print bed material.
- Get a lint-free rag or cloth to clean the print bed.
- Ensure the painter’s tape doesn’t overlap as you apply each strip on your print bed.
- Apply blue or green painter’s tape diagonally or orient your 3D models at a 45° angle.
- Use a roller, scraper, or spatula to remove trapped air under the painter’s tape.
- Get rid of the release agent from the painter’s tape’s backside with IPA or sandpaper.
- Wrap excess tape around the print bed’s edges, so the strips don’t come off.
- Adjust your nozzle and base layer to prevent the tape from peeling off the print bed.
- Include a raft if you don’t want the painter’s tape’s crepe texture under the base layer.
- Clean the tape if you intend to reuse it with IPA, acetone, etc., based on the filament.
- Reduce the cooling fan speed if the base layer shrinks too rapidly and lifts the tape.
Both blue and green painter’s tapes can work equally well for 3D printing. However, both might backfire if you don’t choose the right type of painter’s tape or fail to use it appropriately, given its characteristics. That’s why I prioritized the technicalities over a generic assessment of the two.
When looking for tape, regardless of the color, opt for a product with heat resistance and an acrylic adhesive. If your tape has these characteristics, it should work just as well as any other suitable painter’s tape.