Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cube 3: A Stategy for Easier Printed Part Removal

Jim Ward, in a comment on an earlier blog post pointed out that using a raft might make it easier to remove printed items.  And, he is right.  The crisscross construction of rafts allows for water to penetrate under the piece which dissolves the water soluble CubeStick, making it easier to lift the piece off the print plate.

But, then we are faced with the challenge of removing the raft from the item.  And, I have had very little success cleaning the raft off an item completely.

In line with Jim's basic premise, that allowing water to dissolve some of the glue under a piece would facilitate removal, I've been using channels cut into the bottom of items to accomplish the same thing.

While he didn't mention it, the second benefit of Jim's observation is that having a raft makes it easier for us to get the palette knife under the item we are trying to remove.  To accomplish this without a raft, we can chamfer the bottom edges to give us leverage for a palette knife to pry the item off the plate.

Both systems work.  It's just a matter of preference as to which one you use in your own designs.  But, when printing downloaded designs, Jim's suggestion of using a raft is the best alternative.

In Moment of Inspiration, the process of creating channels is very easy.  Here is a short video that demonstrates an alternative to using a raft to facilitate easier removal. 

The ease with which these kinds of operations are done in Moment of Inspiration is just one of the reasons why we chose it for our cadets as they learn to design and print in 3D.


  1. Tom, You are my HERO... Great idea. I'm totally new to this technology, but I love learning. I guess this old mechanic can learn new tricks. Your idea totally solved the problem.


    1. Thanks! I'm happy to hear that it worked for you.

      It was born out of need. The 1st Gen Cube "Magic Glue" also stuck VERY well on the, then, heated print. While you could shock the part/table in water, which sometimes worked, it was so much easier to lift if the water could get under the part.

      The second part of the idea came later. I was using a very sharp palette knife with the 2nd Gen Cube and a slip could mean a nasty nick. Adding the ledge around the bottom helped keep the knife under the plate.

      I love the new rounded palette knife but on it's own, without help designed into the piece, the Cube 3 prints are the most difficult of all to remove.

      So, I'm happy to see that it was also helpful to others. :)