How to Remove 3D Prints from the Bed: 6 Safe & Easy Methods

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A 3D printed bunny in Grey PLA filament

Removing 3D prints from the print bed can sometimes be a challenging task. As 3D printing becomes more accessible, more people wonder how to safely and efficiently remove their finished projects from the bed. Knowing how to remove 3D prints from the bed helps prevent damaging your object when removing it from the build surface.

There are several methods to remove a stuck 3D print. Regardless of how you remove a 3D print, it’s essential to ensure that you and the printer bed are protected to avoid injury and damage to the object during removal.

How to Remove 3D Prints from the Bed

In this guide, you’ll learn how to safely remove 3D prints from the bed without damaging the print or the build surface.

Regardless of which method you choose, it is essential to be patient. Rushing to remove a stuck print can cause damage to the printed object of your 3D printer or cause an injury. So be sure to take your time. 

Below are six easy methods to remove 3D prints from the build platform.

1. Use Force

Removing a 3D print from the Build platform using force to pry the object from the pei sheet on an anycubic kobra 2 3D printer

Sometimes, using force is the quickest and easiest way to remove 3D prints from your 3D printer. Most of the time, you should be able to simply grab your prints off the bed without a second thought. But if your 3D print is stuck, there’s nothing wrong with using a little force.

Before removing the print, ensure that your 3D print has cooled down. Removing a print while the bed is hot can cause deformations. You can also get a burn if you touch the heated bed.

Give the build platform enough time to cool down, and you’re good to go once it reaches room temperature.

After the bed cools, try picking the 3D print off the bed with your hands. Start gently and apply force gradually. If possible, try to use force at different angles.

If you’re printing a tall model, applying pressure at the top of the object is best to get better leverage. As you gradually apply pressure, the print will begin to peel away from the bed.

When using the force, be careful of sharp corners and points that may scratch or cut your hands. Use puncture-resistant gloves if you have them.

2. Use a Scraping Tool

Using a metal scraper to Remove 3D Prints from the Bed

A scraping tool is a popular and effective way to remove your 3D prints from the bed. In fact, many 3D printers include a plastic or metal scrapper in the box.

Always be cautious and patient while using a scraping tool to avoid damaging your print or the bed.

First, ensure that your print bed has cooled down. Removing a print while the bed is still hot can cause damage to both the print and the bed. Once the bed has cooled down, you can use a sharp tool such as a paint scraper or a razor blade to pry the 3D print away from the bed gently.

Hold your tool at a shallow angle to avoid digging into the bed.

Starting at one corner or edge of your print, carefully work between the print and the bed. Apply gradual pressure and leverage to lift the print slightly. As you progress, you will notice that the rest of the print often comes off more easily.

When using the scraper, be sure to face the blade away from you to avoid injury. Often, a stuck part may break away suddenly, which could lead to you accidentally scrapping your arm.

Trust me. I learned the hard way.

One time, I was removing a large part from the bed. I had my arm on the back of the bed for support. And when the object broke free, I drove the scraper right into my arm. The cut required stitches. But I learned my lesson.

Once you begin to lift the base of the part with a scraper, you can apply a small amount of force with your other hand to help peel the part off. Again, use the pressure to the top of the part away from the scraper, just in case the part comes off quickly. 

Remember, a patient approach ensures you don’t damage the printer or the part and don’t get hurt.

3. Flexible Build Platforms

A person bends a textured pei coated flexible build plate to remove a 3D printed torture test model in red pla

A flexible build platform is one of the easiest ways to remove stuck prints. Most hobby-grade 3D printers use a flexible build plate.

Flexible build platforms are made of spring steel metal with a PEI coating. They are magnetically attached to the 3D printer and are easy to remove.

Remove the build surface from the printer after the print has been completed. You must gently flex the platform, and your print should pop right off.

If your print doesn’t release immediately, flex the platform in the opposite direction to remove your print easily.

This approach reduces the need for scrapers or other tools that can damage your 3D print or lead to injury.

It is also essential to keep your flexible build platform clean and debris-free. Regularly clean the adhesive surface with isopropyl alcohol to remove grease, fingerprints, and dust. This will ensure that your 3D prints adhere well and can be removed easily after printing.

4. Dental Floss

A woman uses dental floss to remove a 3D printed model from the build platform on an Anycubic Kobra 3D FDM printer

You can use dental floss to remove 3D prints from the bed safely. We recommend flexing the bed first if you have a flexible build plate.

But if you’re using a rigid build platform like a glass build plate, dental floss is an effective method of print removal.

First, make sure you allow your print to cool. Then, slide a dental floss gently at the base of the print. I’ve found starting at a corner and working your way inwards is easiest.

Move the floss back and forth slowly, using a sawing motion, to separate the print from the build plate.

As you continue this motion, you’ll feel the 3D print loosening from the 3D printer bed. It may take some patience, but this method works effectively without causing any damage to your print or your bed surface. Feel free to apply some force if the print is stubborn. However, it is essential to remain gentle to prevent any breakage.

In my experience, flat plastic dental floss works better than cotton floss. I’ve often found that cotton floss frays on the sharp edge of the base and breaks more frequently. 

5. Freeze the Print Bed With the Part

Freezing your print bed can work as the cold temperatures cause the print material to shrink, allowing your print to separate from the platform.

Remove your print and the build plate and place them in a freezer for 10-20 minutes. Your print will separate from the bed as the printed object and the bed contract at different rates. Don’t leave your print in the freezer too long, as the part can warp and deform from the cold. 

While waiting for the bed to freeze, I use this time to clean up my work area or prepare for the following 3D printing project. After 10-20 minutes, take the print bed out of the freezer.

Once the print bed has been chilled, gently apply pressure to the object. The frozen temperature should have made it easier for the print to pop off the bed without much effort. If you still find it difficult to remove, you can carefully use a scraper to lift the print from the corner and work around the edges until it’s completely detached.

6. Print With a Removable Adhesive

An ender 3 printing a flexible lizard in green pla on a glass build plate with blue painters tape

A removable adhesive is another effective method to simplify removing 3D prints from the bed. The adhesive creates a barrier between your print bed and the part, making for easy removal. 

Before you start printing, make sure your build surface is cleaned thoroughly. Next, apply a thin removable adhesive layer, such as painter’s tape, to the bed’s surface. Ensure you apply the adhesive evenly on the build plate, as an uneven bed can impact your print quality.

Once your print has finished, let your printer’s heated bed cool down for a few minutes. After it cools, you can start removing the adhesive.

Mario De Lio
Mario De Lio

Mario is a Mechanical Engineer with experience working at one of the largest industrial printing companies in the country. He previously owned a rapid prototyping company specializing in designing mechanical parts for 3D printing applications.

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