All About PET Tape
At Gizmo Dorks, we're always trying to find ways to make better, more accurate, and more effective 3D prints, and one of the most important - and often overlooked - elements of the printing process is the tape used on the print bed. Tape is a critical part of 3D printing, as it helps the model stay firmly grounded in place, ensuring accuracy of the overall project. We've done blogs comparing blue painter's tape and Kapton tape before, but for this blog, we wanted to talk about a lesser known alternative - Polyester tape (PET).
What is PET Tape?
PET is an alternative to Kapton or blue painter's tape that can be used to cover the print bed of your 3D printer. Similar to Kapton tape, PET tape has a smooth surface, which is great for creating clean models. However, ABS filament has been found to adhere much better to PET tape than Kapton tape. This is a big advantage, as one of the main problems with Kapton tape is that models will sometimes rise off the print bed, distorting new layers of the print. With PET, this is much less of an issue. PET is also much more durable than Kapton or painter's tape, which means that one application will last through many more prints before needing to be replaced. This makes it a great option for both ABS and PLA filaments.
Another big advantage to PET is its ease of application. PET can be applied in two ways - either dry, in which it would be applied similarly to Kapton or painter's tape, or wet, which is more similar to applying tint to a car window. The wet method involves laying down a mist of soapy water before applying the tape. This is much more forgiving, as the PET can be manipulated, repositioned, and reapplied to make corrections during application. The only drawback to the wet application is that the tape must then "cure" for 10 hours to allow moisture to evaporate - printing before the PET is fully dry can cause bubbles to form under the surface, ruining your prints.
Contact Your 3D Printing Filament Experts
Have more questions or ready to get started with new ABS or PLA prints on a PET surface? We're excited to help you! Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or browse our full inventory of 3D printing filaments.