Must Have 3D Printer Upgrades – Flexible Print Bed

Geeetech A10M – Wham Bam Bed Transcript

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Hey Everyone, and welcome back to Hoffman Engineering. Today I’m going to show you what I think the best upgrade to any 3D printer is. This upgrade will save you time, heartache, and even bodily injury, and I’m not even talking about my cat Sven that’s helping me with this upgrade.

The upgrade that I’m referring to is for your print bed. Specifically, upgrading to a magnetic, flexible, removable print bed. There are a lot of different manufacturers of these magnetic print beds, but today I’ve purchased a bed from Wham Bam Systems for my Geeetech A10M. If you’ve watched my review of the A10M, which is linked in the description, you know I love this printer, but the bed is a little too grippy. This makes prints a little difficult to remove at times, and I run the risk of damaging the print, or even myself. And after only a month or so, I have some pretty big scratches in the printer’s standard mylar surface. My TEVO Tornado has had a Wham Bam bed for the last 2 years, so when I got the A10M I knew I needed to switch out the bed.

So I picked up a 235mmx235mm flexible build system from Wham Bam Systems. Costing only $55 US dollars for this size, the system comes with a high-temperature resistant magnetic base, a flexible spring steel plate, and their custom PEX print surface. They have a variety of different shapes and sizes, so you can find the right size for your own printer. Be aware that the size of your bed is not necessarily the size of your build volume, for instance the A10M has a 220mm by 220mm build area, but the bed itself is 235mm in both directions. So measure twice!

The magnetic base and the PEX surface are both coated with 3M adhesive. The installation is pretty easy. First, I removed the existing mylar bed surface to reveal the aluminum heated bed below. Next, make sure the bed is clean by wiping it down with acetone. Before putting on the magnetic surface, you need to make sure your bed is free from warping. The magnetic surface is somewhat flexible, so if your bed is warped then the magnetic surface will also be warped. So use a level to make sure everything is flat, and shim the bed with aluminum strips if you need to adjust it. Luckily this bed is level, so we can move to the next time.

Now we can adhere the magnetic surface directly to the aluminum. Start by lining up the back edge, expose about 1 inch of the adhesive, and press down. Now slowly peel away more of the adhesive from back to the front. Make sure you work out any air bubbles as your work from one edge to the other. After the bed is adhered, put a sheet of paper on top and press firmly on the bed, burnishing the surface to make sure all parts of the magnet are firmly attached to the aluminum.

The next step is adhering the PEX build surface to the spring-steel plate. I put the plate onto the magnetic bed, just to make it easier to line everything up. Then we install the PEX surface just like we did with the magnet. It is adhesive backed, so after cleaning the spring steel we can expose about an inch of adhesive, and work from the back towards the front, making sure to remove as many air bubbles as possible.

And thats it, the bed is installed! Wham Bam recommends using triple-zero steel wool on the PEX surface with rubbing alcohol to clean it between prints.

The last adjustment we need to make is to adjust your bed’s z-home. The magnetic, spring steel, and PEX surface are significantly thicker than my old bed, almost 2 millimeters thicker. I had to move my z-axis endstop up to compensate, and then make sure my bed is leveled.

So now we are ready! I love the look of the bed, the silver finish is a nice contrast, and it fits perfectly on the printer. But we didn’t buy it for it’s looks, we bought it for it to be printed on. The first print as always is a 20mm calibration cube in PLA. It stuck to the surface just fine, with a good looking first layer. After the print is finished, I removed the print bed, and with just a couple of quick flexes it came right off. The bottom surface is very pleasing to look at, it is nice and smooth and reflective.

Lets print something with a larger bottom surface area. This vase will be a nice test. Again the first layer printed nicely. Lets fast-forward a few hours until the print is finished. And here we go, again we can just pull off the print bed and flex the spring-steel to easily cause the print to pop off. So satisfying. And a quick blade takes care of peeling off the skirt material.

So for those wondering what I think are the Must Have Upgrades for your 3D printer, this would be my recommendation. The ease of removal makes life so much easier. It can also make you more productive, if you have multiple spring-steel plates, you can remove one immediately after the print finished and replace it with a new one, so you can start your next print before your previous print has even finished cooling.

So thank you all for watching. If you have recommendations for flexible beds, feel free to leave them down below! This video isn’t sponsored by Wham Bam, I purchased this kit myself, I just really like their system, so thanks for making such a good product Wham Bam! And thank you all for watching, I’ll see you all next time!

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