3D printers are great for printing out items on demand around the home — especially useful if you need to print some replacement parts on the fly. However, people face one common issue with personal 3D printers: getting rid of the leftover glue once the item has been printed.
Here’s how to easily clean the glue off a 3D printer bed:
- Turn the 3D printer off and let it cool.
- Spray water or window cleaner on the printer bed.
- Use an old credit card to scrape off the glue.
- Wipe the printer bed with a clean cloth.
This simple guide will show you how to get rid of the pesky glue without damaging your printer or heating up your extruder. Read on for more details and pro tips that’ll come in handy in each step.
1. Turn the 3D Printer Off and Let It Cool
When cleaning glue off of your 3D printer bed, the first thing you should do is to turn the machine off and let it cool slightly.
In the meantime, prepare everything you’ll need for the job:
- Distilled water or window cleaner.
- A clean cloth or towel.
- An old credit card or plastic scraper.
Allowing the printer to cool will prevent burns or severe damage to your extruder, and you definitely don’t want that. However, if you’re in a hurry and need to wipe down the printer bed immediately after printing, just be sure to use a thick towel to avoid getting burned.
Pro Tip: You should aim to clean your 3D printer bed immediately after finishing a print job. After printing, the time that passes plays an important role in how hard it is to scrape away glue residue. Notably, if your printer is still warm, the leftover glue will be less likely to stick to the printer bed.
2. Spray Water or Window Cleaner on the Printer Bed
It may be easier to use either distilled water or window cleaner, depending on what kind of leftover glue you have on your 3D printer bed. For example, many people find it easier to remove glue residue with water because the glue is usually made up of sugar-based chemicals that are soluble in water.
However, if you find that water isn’t working well enough or your glue is made of something else, you should use window cleaner instead.
Note: For the best results, ensure the cleaning solution is 70%+ ethanol-based. This percentage of ethanol will help dissolve the leftover glue easier and won’t leave any residue on your printer bed. Alternatively, applying acetone will do the trick, too, as acetone is a powerful solvent.
3. Use an Old Credit Card To Scrape Off the Glue
Once your 3D printer has cooled down and you’ve managed to dissolve the leftover glue, it’s time to remove it from the printer bed!
You want to use an old but not worn-out credit card or another type of thin plastic card. This will make it easy for you to slide the card under any sections of excess glue that are stuck on top of your print surface without damaging this area in the process.
Here’s how to scrape the glue off using a plastic card:
- Slide the edge of your plastic card underneath the area of glue.
- Rub the card back and forth until the glue has broken up into small pieces. Don’t go too hard to avoid damaging the 3D printer bed.
- Wipe down the area to remove the excess glue and continue scraping until everything has been removed.
Pro Tip: A good tip when removing dried-up glue from your 3D printer bed is to use an old cloth in conjunction with your plastic card. Use the cloth to wipe away any residue that comes off while scraping. This will make removing the glue much easier.
In this YouTube video, you’ll find helpful information on how to apply this trick when cleaning glue from your printer bed:
Additionally, it’d help to use a special cleaning kit, such as the AMX3d Pro Grade 3D Printer Tool Kit (available on Amazon.com). It comes with a scraper with both plastic and steel blades to make removing residue easier, a mini broom for hard-to-reach parts, and a storage case that comes in handy when you need to keep the kit safely.
Alternatively, you can remove the adhesive from your 3D printer bed by applying an oil-based material like cooking oil, mayonnaise, or peanut butter onto the residue and letting it sit for about an hour. After that, you can proceed to the next step.
4. Wipe the Printer Bed With a Clean Cloth
Once you’ve scraped away all of the excess glue you can, make sure to wipe down your 3D printer bed with a piece of cloth.
This is useful for removing any glue residue left over after scrubbing it off manually with your plastic card. Wiping this section of the printer bed will also help remove any dirt particles which may have gotten stuck in the dried-up glue and become attached to this area when you were scraping it away.
Pro Tip: Use a piece of cloth instead of paper towels because paper towels tend to leave small pieces of paper all over your printer bed. In addition, if the glue residue on your printer bed is thick and sticky, you can use warm soapy water to dissolve it before wiping it away with a cloth.
Now that you know how to clean the glue off a 3D printer bed, it should be much easier for you to finish this task at home. The most important thing is to act fast after your print job if you want things to go smoothly — the faster you remove the excess glue, the easier your next 3D printing job will be.
Use an old credit card or plastic piece when removing the glue since anything made of metal can scratch up the printer bed. Once you’ve followed these guidelines, your printer will be ready for the next task.