PETG is rapidly climbing up the ranks of the more popular types of printing filaments out there. As a matter of fact, it is now considered to be one of the very best 3D printing materials around when it comes to outdoor work.
However printing with PETG is not very easy unless you are using glass, due to adhesion levels. It will require higher temperatures as well as a good glue stick to ensure ideal bed temp and bed stickiness.
Basically, PETG is short for polyethylene terephthalate glycol. This is a very tough, temperature-resistant, as well as highly impact-resistant plastic that is quite often used in FDM-style 3D printing applications.
Does PETG Stick to Glass?
As a general rule, 3D builds on FDM print beds don’t tend to stick too well and require all kinds of chemical adhesives so that they will stick to the print surface well enough to get a good quality 3D print.
Sometimes, many users need to use a glue stick and/or hair spray to the print surfaces in order to help the builds and parts stick to the heated bed, due to the poor quality of the stickiness on a glass bed or any other kind of print bed, irrespective of the bed temperature.
PETG filament material, on the other hand, unlike its PLA and ABS counterparts, often sticks too well. That is, it sticks strong enough to tear out pieces of your printed part or build surface.
In such a case, it would be a very good idea to only use glue or hairsprays as a form of release agent for your 3D printed objects, if you want your builds to come off without any problem.
Here, you must never print directly on anything like Buildtak, PEI, or glass. That way, your precious parts and builds will come off with the release agent and not with bits and pieces of the original build surface. You can also use blue painters tape for this purpose.
Can You Print PETG on Glass?
Many 3D printers are equipped with bare glass. Under the circumstances it would be a good idea to know if you can PETG print on the borosilicate glass surface of your print bed. Just make sure you have gotten the first layer height correctly.
If you are not careful, you might have to deal with several chipping issues as pieces of your borosilicate glass might come off with your PETG prints. This is very bad news for just about any printer.
Here, silicon carbide glass should be fine.
This is due to the fact that whenever you try to extrude hot plastic from the nozzle right onto normal (not tempered) glass, it can easily causes micro fissures to open up when you cool it down. These micro fissures potentially end up getting plastic PETG, PLA, ABS, and other filaments wedged deep into the borosilicate.
However, using copious quantities of release agents while removing the PETG filament builds can certainly help get the job done properly. Once you have the settings down pat, it is likely that the cool and clean results will please you.
How to Effectively Remove PETG from Glass?
Since printing PETG filament tends to trick to any sort of print platform, including glass, it is a good idea to use different chemicals to release it. While, it might be possible to remove your builds with the help of a scraper, this is not a good idea since it can scratch the build, even as it mars the high gloss finish of the printer bed.
Aquanet works well and it is available quite easily. It has a vinyl copolymer in it and it is a very good release agent for unsticking your builds.
However, if you fail to find any Aquanet, or if it is too expensive for you, you can also use any other hairspray for the purpose of releasing your PETG prints from the printer bed.
Here, you will need to be extra careful with PETG filament to make sure that the build is not damaged in any way, either, along with the bed of your printer, even at high temperature. But judicious utilization of the release agents will take care of this issue.
Use Painters Tape on Top of Glass
Yes, it is possible to use painter’s tape given its light bed adhesion, on a glass bed. This is because it is liberally coated with a wax-based release agent. Otherwise, the tape will start sticking to itself on its roll.
If you are going to be building PETG prints on glass, you must remove this release with an organic solvent so as to obtain good adhesion. Many people utilize Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for this purpose. Acetone will also work, however it is definitely a much stronger solvent and it can potentially damage your builds.
For blue painter s tape, you should rub freshly applied blue tape with the desired solvent until its blue dye starts coming off. Once done, give it a quick wipe in-between your PETG prints in order to remove any fingerprints, or other dust and stains.
Can you Smooth PETG?
If you want to smooth your PETG builds you may have to take the sanding and polishing route. Since it’s a very slow and deliberate process, the odds are that you won’t make a big mistake. It does not involve a lot of skill, but plenty of elbow grease to get that perfect mirror finish.
If you want to increase the pace of the project, you might consider using a heat gun. This will require less time and effort but it can easily go very wrong if you are not good at what you are doing. Apart from that, heat guns are more expensive than simple sanding and grinding polishes.
PETG is a great way of creating awesome builds that will last a long time. Once you master the technicalities of PETG printing, you are good to go ahead and create your masterpieces, just like you would do so with PLA and ABS.