Printing PLA on glass bed proof of concept

My most loved electronic device is a beauty and as such it deserves nice looking companion devices too. Right now it's companion devices are mostly just plain PCBs wired inside some open cases, not looking nice.


To get the right look for those cases (it has to be a special red, glossy metal look) the first thing noobs like me remember is how the printers of the masses produce that mirror like surfaces when printing PLA on glass beds without a raft. ABS is an option too but requires more care and I wanted to try the easier variant for a proof of concept.


It works, I but have to improve it. I need another setup for the mirror tile and clamps that allow me to close the sides again. Had big warping at the open sides, nearly none at the closed ones. This can be fixed easily.


More tricky to handle is to get the filament flow back on the point when continuing the print after removing the raft. Could be easily solved with a Z-Suite advanced option "no Raft" (think that would be less than 10 lines of code), but…


The surface was not perfect. It would need exact leveling of bed and mirror tile but that can be handled.  And finally the color does not fit, but the filament is from a local manufacturer that offers orders with custom colors.


I think it's just a matter of time until the beauty gets much better looking companions.

And the timer has started…

How did you deal with the bed sensing and glass?

How did you deal with the bed sensing and glass?

My guess is he used a shim and then paused the print and removed the raft which gave more space to insert the glass and then continue the print.

I also did some tests with the PLA, using the thickness of 0.5 mm supplied with the Z-temp, it works great

Actually I used two shims :-)

One have to offset the bed level by a value of mirror tile height - raft layers height.

I used two shims with a total height of 1mm (accuracy is missing, need other tools here).

You have to take care to provide a clean contact, this could (should) always be tested prior to a real print: Use a cable that connects to the upper shim wich is put on the metallic areas of the bed and put the other end of the cable to the nozzle right when the bed begins to move at the start of a print. The printer should immediately try to level, if not switch off and check again.

If you don't provide a clean contact your nozzle crashes into the shims and that could damage it.

But that's also true if you don't provide clean contacts with the metallic areas of the bed (especially in the middle), crashing into the bed is not better for the nozzles life span.