A few days ago I shared with you my 3D printer, the Printrbot Simple Metal. When I bought this printer there was a BuildTak 3D Print Surface which has performed well for me. But it had a few holes in it and removing prints was becoming a challenge without ruining the BuildTak.

I had made a few printed upgrades, such as the spool holder that sits on top of the Z-axis rails as well as a few failed upgrades mainly two fan ducts that was supposed to improve the airflow of the cooling fan 360 degrees around the extruder.

But now it is time for my first purchased upgrade for this printer, the magnetic SpiderFlexiPlate System.

I bought this from Danish 3D printing vendor 3D Eksperten. This was a first time purchase from 3D Eksperten for me, but I have seen a lot of positive feedback regarding 3D Eksperten on the Danish 3D printing groups and pages on Facebook.

This upgrade was a lot easier than I feared - in the end the biggest challenge turned out to be retuning the printer. But lets start at the beginning ...

First order of business was to remove the old BuildTak sheet from the build plate. Initially I was concerned about this part, or rather about having to remove remnants of adhesive, but it turned out rather well:

03 cleanbed

The above picture is right after pulling off the BuildTak plate - it left the print bed quite clean. To make sure the new plate adhered as it should, I cleaned off the print bed with isopropyl alcohol (not shown)

As mentioned earlier, the BuildTak plate had a few holes, maybe the hot extruder nozzle came to close for too long?

02 buildtak with hole

The SpiderFlexiPlate System consists of two parts - a magnetic sheet that is glued to the heated print bed and the FlexiPlate itself which when in use is held down by magnetism.

04 spidersheetflexiplate system

The underside of the magnetic plate has a 3m adhesive, which you peel off:

05 magneticplate 3m06 3m peeloff

Then you place the magnetic plate carefully centered on the build plate, making sure it is stuck to the bed:

07 magneticplate applied

The SpiderFlexiPlate then just snap in place:

08 flexiplate inplace

And we are done! Or so I thought. It turned out that I had to lift the automatic levelling probe as the properties of the build plate had changed. The auto levelling set the extruder too high, probably due to the magnetic field of the new SpiderFlexiPlate system. I spent most of the time in this process, unfortunately without taking any pictures - sorry.

And finally it was time for the first print:

10 first print

I want to replace the coolinng fan duct so why not make that the first print? It turned out that I still need to work on the autolevelling as the first layer is placed too high on the build plate. This mean that air can escape the fan duct where that meets the fan duct meets the mounting point. Apart from the first layer I was happy with the result of this print!