Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Glue to use in an emergency...

The longer I work with the 2nd Gen Cube, the more I learn about glue application for the most effectiveness.  But, I often wonder what we would or could do should we run out of Cube Stick at a critical printing moment.

Recently, a 3D printer owner contacted me and in their email they mentioned using Elmers Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick with his printer... which also has a glass bed.  So, I decided to see how well it might work.

Some observations...

First, it works.  

It goes on purple and as it dries it disappears.  In 8 runs there was one failure that I'm sure had to do with low humidity.  It is FAR more sensitive to dry air than the Cube Stick.   You can tell this by how fast it disappears.

Second, it's probably more expensive 

While it would be great in a pinch,  I'm not sure that it's the least expensive or most effective option. It seems to require a good bit more glue to remain active for the full length of time required to start a print job.  This might not be the case in a high humidity area; but, in my area it's definitely a factor.

Third, it washes off easily and cleanly

I must be easily amused because I got a kick out of the fact that if the Elmers is used and then the print table is run under a faucet, it turns purple again!  This makes it easy to see that all of it has been removed from the print table.

Fourth, parts can still be hard to remove

While there is a different feel to sliding a palette knife under a part, the basic function of removing a part remains unchanged.  If the glue has worked well, and there is no warping, some parts can be tough to remove. 

My conclusion is that I am happy to have the option of using a second source of glue.  But, there is no compelling reason, other than local availability, to making Elmer's glue stick the primary glue to use with the Cube.  Still, it's good to know that we have an option in an emergency.


  1. I was thinking a Raft might help with a large flat base print. I printed a tool with a large flat base and it was impossible to get off the glass without hurting the print. I'm new to this world, but maybe a raft would help with that. Any thoughts?

  2. You are one the right track. The idea is to create channels where water can flow under the piece. This evening I will create a short video to demonstrate how I attempt to make it easier to release large flat pieces. But, basically, it involves cutting 1mm channels on the bottom and chamfering the outside bottom edges to allow a better grip for the palette knife.