Dual-sided smooth PEI plate vs High Temperature Plate

I am looking to purchase a smooth pei plate but I am confused about the differences between the dual-sided smooth pei plate and the High Temperature plate. I see from the specifications that the spring steel is slightly thicker on the dual-sided plate (0.1mm) but the pei sticker is substantially thicker (0.125 vs 0.03 mm).

Which one would give the most flexibility and is there a benefit in getting both? I just purchased an P1S and am primarily printing PLA but plan to get into PETG , ABS, and ASA filaments soon. Also possibly interested in trying out PC.

Since I have all of the above, I can share with you my experience. The sole place where I found it to matter is printing with PETG, ABS and PC. I have no experience with ASA.

One of the first differences I experienced was when I printed at bed temps above 80c. The leave this out of the fine print but if you do not let the plate cool at 100c, PEI will soften. How do I know this? Take a look at what the metal scraper did to a PC print I tried to peel off in haste.

Now that’s not to say that you can simply use the high temp or engineering plate without a coating. Once you print at 80c or above, you will find that you will need something like a glue to act as a release agent, not so much as a binder. What happens when you don’t? Well I have a picture of that damage too on a smooth PEI plate and a specular PEA plate.

Permanently stuck PC on a PEA+PEI plate

PETG scars on a smooth PEI plate where I failed to use any coating.

So in short, I can tell you that even though it says directly on the Bambu plate the following:

I have a difference of opinion.

Since most of my printing involves non-PLA I find that I leave my engineering plate in the printer for almost everything. But I will also note that I coat it with 3 light coats of hairspray to protect the surface. It generally will allow anywhere from 5-7 prints in the same location on the plate before I need to reapply.

Don’t make my mistake, PC at 100c ruined my original black PEI plate but to Bambu credit, they did make good on it and sent me a new gold PEI plate even though such damage is not covered under warranty. However, if you are going to try PC or PETG on a smooth PEI plate, use hairspray for a uniform coating that will act as a release agent. I would experiment with small parts located at the corners of the plate where you won’t be so upset if that part of the plate is ruined. Unlike me, who like a dumbass, went full speed without testing and ruined the center part of the plate.

FYI: Using multiple coats of hair spray thickly applied and allowed to dry will remediate any smooth plate to at least a smoothness. Here’s what a high temp surface looks like with 4 layers of Aquanet Hairspray(unscented) and was placed in my kitchen oven at 100C for 10 minutes between each coating. You can tell I overdid the spray on the last coating because it dripped. I don’t have a photo of a plate after I mastered the use of hairspray in lighter layers. But even with the drips, look how smooth the surface looks and I can share that this particular print was PETG and if you look at the bottom left print, I was able to achieve optical clarity. This was in part do to 0.08 layer height but also the smooth print bed made all the difference.

1 Like

I’ve been wondering the same thing. Both use smooth PEI stickers. Are they, in fact, the same sticker? Or does the PEI sticker on the high temperature plate use an adhesive that is resistant to higher temperatures? Or is there some other difference in the quality of the stickers?

In terms of replacement stickers, they exist only for either the cool plate or the high temperature plate, with the sticker for the high temperature plate costing nearly twice as much as the one for the cool plate. Unfortunately, this only deepens the mystery. In the event you wanted to replace the sticker on your double sided smooth plate, what should you do?

I agree. I wonder if there are any advantages to the engineering plate over the smooth pei side. The differences in the thicknesses of the pei sheet listed on the website concern me as they are significant.

One advantage of the double sided plate is that you can dip it before having to clean the sheet. I was using the textured pei sheet and a big print lifted a little bit twice in the same area. Figured it needed cleaning so I just flipped the plate over and used the other side, no lifting.

Does the dual sided pei plate use the PEI stickers one can buy as replacement? I have bought one of the stickers and put it on the cool plate. The experience was quite disappointing. At the second print, some bubbles formed, e.g. the sticker detached locally.

Instead I bought a double sided smooth PEI plate from Energetic at AliExpress which is just 5 bucks more for the entire plate shipped than a single sticker from Bambu. It is coated instead of glued on.
I had no issues so far also with PC (not Bambu but Polymaker PolyMax PC) without any treatment. It is a bit more sticky than the Bambu smooth PEI but no damage yet.
Just had to deburr the slightly rough edges and stick a QR code on for automatic recognition.

Maybe we’re overthinking this. If I had to guess, I would bet that the double sided smooth PEI stickers are functionally the same as the high temp stickers, because the double sided PEI listing advertises that it can print the same 9 filaments as the high temperature plate listing can print. Unless I hear differently, that’s the assumption I’m going to run with.

You mentioned that you get 5-7 prints from one application of hairspray. Does that include 5-7 prints of something sticky like PETG?

Yes. It does. But it should be noted that I also have an auxiliary touchup pen I fashioned to allow for spot fill-ins if I felt there was a gap that might give me trouble. It’s definitely a non-scientific eye-ball approach.

I have both the single sided smooth PEI and the double sided smooth PEI plates from Bambu, and they’re pretty much the same, except the double sided one has the sticker on both sides.

As a side note. I print PC on the engineering plate directly without glue, and haven’t had any issues. Olias, is there a reason you were using the PEI plates over the engineering side? Had a different experience? (Oh wait, I recall you mentioned somewhere you had a P1 series, so guess you wouldn’t have got that plate. I do wonder how the performance of PC printing with the P1 vs X1 is. Only difference is the heat bed temp, I believe.)

Ahh, PETG and PEI. I had a chunk out of my bed on my Prusa MK2 for it’s life, after trying to pry up a full bed PETG print.

1 Like

Did you mention before that you make the touch up pen with the hair spray liquid?

When you use the touch up pen, is the surface of the print as smooth as it is when it is sprayed?

Do you use the pen because spraying the section that needs a touch up was bad from your experience?

The touch up pen was actually two happy accident dfrom trying to adapt bambu liquid glue to another style of pen and then trying to brush on liquid hairspray.

The liquid hairspray idea came from a YouTube video of how to reclaim spray paint into a liquid format. Back in high school, my shop teacher showed us something similar.

So putting both concepts together, I came up with a liquid Hair Spray pen and it is actually smoother than spraying it on because it goes on in more even coats than what one can achieve via aerosol. That part was totally unexpected and I was counting on the opposite which is why I call it a happy accident.

If there is interest, I will post a more detailed instructions of how I did this but truth be told, the current climate here has become increasingly toxic. I’d much rather share it in a DM with interested parties as opposed to inviting the trolls to weigh in to a mature discussion.

I am interested to learn how you do it, whether through DM or otherwise. I got my hairspray delivery today, 6 cans. I sprayed the 3 coats but haven’t printed yet.

You should just post it on the forum, don’t pay any mind to them, they are just mad about you criticizing the company that makes their printer. The information will be useful for current and future people that come here. When you post it, since you modded the glue stick, just don’t mention how bad the Bambu liquid glue is and I think you will be safe. :joy::joy::rofl::rofl::rofl:

1 Like

Just started my print on the plate with hairspray. I can see from the looks of the plate that it will be such a nice finish on the bottom. I can’t stand the glue marks from the glue stick or liquid glue stick.

I’d be interested to see how you managed to create your own liquid glue pen. I’ve been against using hair spray; I picture my office getting all sticky as the mist lands on everything.

My current method of using glue stick, spraying with alcohol, and then spreading it with a cloth to a smooth finish is multi step. If I can make my life easier (I’m lazy) by getting it down to a single step, that’d be sweet.

I have an old bed sheet that I laid down on the floor. It is folded to be large enough to catch any spray that misses the plate. I then spray downwards at a roughly 45° angle. This seems to keep the spray to a limited area. 3 light coats gives good coverage on the plate.

The hairspray worked so well, the bottom of my prints are perfect. I’m never going back to glue.

1 Like

When, on a different thread, I was complaining about the bambu lab glue working poorly at holding down prints, someone here gave wise counsel against applying the bambu lab glue too thickly. Whether by luck or gifted insight, this advice was exactly what I needed to hear, because I had just recently started “refreshing” the build plate surface after nearly every print by simply laying down another layer of glue over the old one.

So, just to be clear: for hairspray, is it the exact opposite? i.e. we should be laying down a fresh, new layer after every print? The photo earlier in this thread of the hairspray build plate makes it look as though it had been thoroughly saturated.

Olias said he sprays 3 coats and gets 5-7 prints from that, and he just touches up certain places if it looks like there is not enough hairspray left on the spot. Because of past experience with PETG-CF sticking to the plate, I didn’t want to take a chance, so did a one coat spray after I used up all the areas on the plate. Based on what the plate looked like, I don’t think I needed that extra coat, but was being paranoid.

1 Like

It seems like the hairspray is also a better release barrier then glue. The PETG-CF parts came off easier than they did before when I used glue.

I refresh the hairspray layer after 10 to 15 prints or before I print very thin high parts. It’s not needed to refresh after every print.

1 Like