A print bed is an essential component that’s required for 3D printing. Regardless of the specific technology, all 3D printers build objects on a tangible substrate. Known as a print bed, it provides the structure for the deposited material. 3D printers build objects by depositing material onto a print bed. While there are several types of print beds used in 3D printing applications, glass is one of the most popular. Glass print bed, in fact, offer several key advantages over other types.
Even Distribution of Heat
Using a glass print bed allows for the even distribution of heat. Most 3D printers heat their respective material before depositing it onto a print bed. With a glass print bed, the heat is evenly distributed to prevent problems such as warpage. Other types of print beds may warp when exposed to hot material. The heat will build up in the areas where the material is deposited, which may cause the print bed to warp. Warpage isn’t a concern with glass print beds since they evenly distribute heat.
Smooth, Grain-Free Surface
Glass print beds also have a super-smooth surface. Why does this matter? If a print bed has a rough or grainy surface, it may affect the finished object’s dimensions. The printed object will essentially show the imperfections of the rough or grainy print bed. Rather than a smooth surface, the printed object will have a rough or grainy surface — just like the print bed on which it was built. Using a glass print bed prevents this from happening by allowing the material to be deposited on a smooth and grain-free surface.
Glass print beds tend to last longer than those made of other materials. Glass, of course, is a noncrystalline material that’s made primarily of silica. The silica is heated to the point where it melts and fuses together. The end result is a strong material that’s able to weather the hands of time. Glass doesn’t degrade like other materials, nor does it suffer from premature failure. Therefore, glass print beds are long-lasting and can offer many years of use.
Another reason glass print beds are so popular is because they offer a nonstick surface. Print beds are often exposed to adhesive, grease, lubricants and other liquids. With their nonstick surface, glass print beds are easier to clean than their counterparts made of other materials. After using a glass print bed to build an object, companies can quickly clean it so that it’s ready for another round of 3D printing.
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