3D printing can take a long time depending on your printer’s speed and the size of the model you are printing. But can you remove the 3D printed part right away or do you need to let the bed cool down before removing the 3D print?
The bed should cool down for at least 3 minutes before removing the 3D print. Wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes when the 3D printer has a glass or g10 bed before removing the 3D print to avoid damaging the bed. On a PEI (spring steel) or polypropylene bed, the print can already be removed after 3 to 5 minutes.
Here is a helpful table that shows how much time you should wait depending on the build plate that you are using:
|Build Plate||Cool Down Time|
|Glass||5 to 10 minutes|
|G10 (Garolite)||5 to 10 minutes|
|PEI (Spring Steel)||3 to 5 minutes|
|Polypropylene (PP)||5 minutes|
The 3D-printed part should be easy to remove without much force.
So if the part does not come off the print bed easily then let it cool down a little more before you try again.
The amount of time that you should let the print cool down for varies depending on the material that you are printing in and the build plate that you are printing on.
In the following, I will explain more about why that is and what different kinds of filament and build plates there are.
The Type of Filament Plays a Role
The type of filament that you printed with can have an impact on how long it takes until you can safely remove a 3D print from the build surface.
Generally, PLA and PETG can be removed after around 5 to 10 minutes when printed on a glass or g10 surfaces or 3 to 5 minutes when printed on another surface. When printing in ABS, ASA, or Nylon then it usually takes about 5 minutes longer.
PLA / PETG
PETG is printed at slightly higher temperatures than PLA but the cooldown time of the two materials is generally very close.
PLA and PETG will cool down quite quickly and can usually be easily removed from the build plate after 3 to 5 minutes. If you have a glass or g10 build then it will take a little longer with around 5 to 10 minutes.
ABS / ASA
ABS and ASA are generally printed at very similar temperatures. The bed is often heated to about 100°C when printing with ABS or ASA so the cooldown time is also a little higher.
ABS and ASA can generally be safely removed after 5 to 10 minutes. If your printer has a glass bed or a g10 bed then you will have to wait around 13 to 16 minutes before you can remove the 3D print.
TPU is printed at similar temperatures as PLA but because it is flexible you should wait a little longer before you try to remove it from the build plate to make sure that it is not stuck to the build plate at any point.
This is because TPU can often easily get damaged when removing it too early from the build plate.
Wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes before you remove a TPU print from a PEI or PP build plate and 10 to 15 minutes when you remove a TPU print from a glass or g10 build plate.
Nylon is very rigid and needs to be printed at very high temperatures. This also makes it a little harder to remove from a build plate because if you use a little too much force then the 3D-printed part might break.
I recommend waiting for at least 10 to 15 minutes before you try to remove a Nylon print from a PEI or PP build plate or 15 to 20 minutes before you try to remove the nylon print from a glass bed.
It is very easy to break a glass bed when you try to remove a nylon print with too much force.
The Build Plate
There are several different build plates that a 3D printer can come with and depending on the kind of build plate of your printer, the cool-down time can vary quite a bit.
There was a time when glass build plates were the standard for 3D printers but nowadays, most modern 3D printers come with a PEI build plate.
Glass needs quite a long time to cool down and 3D prints tend to stick quite well to the surface of the glass. So you generally have to wait at least 5 minutes longer for a print to be cool enough before you can remove it compared to a PEI build plate.
Glass can also easily break when you try to remove the 3D print by force. So use a 3D printing glue as a release agent or wait until the 3D print is completely cooled down before you try to remove the 3D print.
Garolite or g10 is a build surface that is made out of glass fiber and epoxy resin.
It behaves similarly to glass when printing on it but 3D prints generally adhere better to it when it is hot and the prints are much easier to remove once the Garolite has cooled down.
You generally have to wait at least 10 minutes before you can remove your 3D-printed part. Let the g10 cool down completely before you remove the 3D print. If the print doesn´t come off right away then let the build plate cool down for another minute or so.
PEI (Spring Steel)
PEI or Spring Steel is one of the most used build plates nowadays. Almost any printer released in the last two years comes with a PEI build plate.
PEI cools down quite fast and 3D prints can be removed very easily because Spring Steel is flexible. Wait for around 3 to 5 minutes before you try to remove the 3d-printed part.
PP build plates are quite good but you absolutely need to use a 3D glue as a release agent when you print on Polypropylene. If you don´t use 3D glue then you will have a very hard time removing any kind of 3D print from this build plate.
PP cools down quite quickly and is also flexible. So if you used a 3D glue on the build plate as a release agent then you should be able to remove the 3D print from the build plate after around 3 to 5 minutes of cool down time.
How to Speed up the Cooling Time
There are several tricks that you can use to cool down the build plate a little faster.
- Take the build plate out of the printer. The build plate will cool down faster if you take it out of the printer away from the heated bed. Just be careful as the bed is quite hot.
- Wave the build plate up and down. The build plate will cool down faster when you wave it up and down in your hands. Plus you will feel when the build plate is cool enough to remove the 3D print.
- Use some water to cool the build plate. You can use a spray bottle to spray some water at room temperature on the build plate. This will cool down the print plate slightly faster. I don´t recommend doing this on a glass build plate, however, as it could cause the glass to crack.
- Use some compressed air. You can use some compressed air to cool down the 3D print a bit faster. Compressed air can be bought in cans in your local hardware store.
It is always best to let your prints cool down naturally because all of the above methods can cause internal stress in the build plates which can result in them breaking or permanently deforming.
But if you are in a hurry then these are your options.
Make Sure that Your Bed is Level
This one may seem weird but if your printer bed isn´t leveled correctly then you might have a hard time removing your print from the surface.
Make sure that your bed is leveled correctly to ensure that the printed part sticks well to the surface but also doesn´t stick too well to the surface. If the print won´t come off easily even after the bed has completely cooled down then consider checking if your bed is level.
Here is a complete guide on how to level a 3D printer bed properly and reliably.
Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.