Printing on the glass I've read all kinds of stuff people do to try

Printing on the glass

I’ve read all kinds of stuff people do to try and make their prints stick. Everything from hair spray to a slurry mixture. All of these seem to work but are a pain to clean and setup all the time. When I was new to printing I had heard about people printing on the glass and not using anything else so I decided that I was going to go for that because I didn’t want all the setup hastle. Well after a lot of trial and error I was able to get all my prints to stick really well without any kind of “special sauce” to make them stick. So I’m just kind of wondering, does anyone else print on the glass or do you use methods like tape or glue to make your prints stick? Also, I’ve only ever printed in PLA. I’m sure other types of plastic require different methods.


From what I understand, to do it on bare glass, it has to be very clean and that it has to be true (or “level”) to the nozzle. A wipe of isopropyl alcohol if you touch the glass or if you’ve let it get dusty. One thing that’s more reliable is to mix up white glue, one part glue to 9 parts water and wipe it into the glass, one layer so it has a very thin haze to it.

My printer has an aluminum bed. I stick a layer of 3M blue painter’s tape on it and print PLA directly on that and it’s worked quite well. Friends with the same printer have put a glass bed on it, then gluestick or hairspray on the glass.

@Jeff_DeMaagd well my glass isn’t something I would consider very clean. The most I do is scrape it with a razor. Also, I can even get it to print well when the bed isn’t even level. If I change something, I just get it close, start printing and adjust it on the fly. My methods seem kinda crude compared to everything else I read. At work we have a printer and the one other guy that can run it cleans it with acitone and then uses a glue stick. We literally use the exact same printer and I don’t do anything to it. My printer at home is a semi polished turd and I never have problems with adhesion. It just seems weird that I’m able to do it but yet so many other people don’t do it that way. And I’ve only been printing for a short time. Hell, I’ve only used 2 rolls of filament and that includes learning how to even print in the first place so most of the first roll was wasted anyway. IDK, maybe I’m just missing something.

@John_Bump but why bother with glue and hair spray if you don’t need to? It seems like so much extra work and mess.

It does to me, too, but they swear that’s the only way they can get stuff to stick.

@John_Bump it just seems weird that a noob with little experience and a $154 printer can get it to work. It seems like I’m missing something and maybe there are additional benefits I’m missing out on. But I have zero problems making my prints stick right to the glass with almost no effort in making the glass clean. It works very well actually. I print something and after it cools down it makes a “pop” sound and then I know it’s ready.

@Kevin_Danger_Powers try printing ABS and get back to us. PLA doesn’t require a heated bed, and blue tape is good enough to get it to stick. ABS almost always requires a heated bed. And usually requires an adhesive of some time.

I used ordinary glass cleaner. Nothing else but absolutely clean glass

Even PLA printing on clean glass is possible (cleaned with IPA, pure alcohol etc.), in production environment, where different materials end nozzles are used, 3Dlac, PrintaFix or similar sprays are very useful. And for special materials (PP, CPE+ etc.), adhesive foils are needed (together with closed environment).

I don’t get why everyone messes with glass or glue stick or tape anymore. If you have an aluminum bed, which a lot of the lower end printers even seem to come with now, invest in some PEI. Stuff just sticks to it and pops right off when the bed cools. I’ve done tons of prints on it and have yet to wear my sheet out. For $15 the ease of use when compared to anything you have to replace is well worth it.

ever since a print took a chunk out of my glass, I just put a sheet of katon tape on the glass and print on that. Half the time I don’t even bother to wipe the dust off it after sitting for a few months. Just heat & print.

@Griffin_Paquette ice since switched to LokBuild™ surface
Though not necessary for PLA, but works better than CLEAN glass. Clean glass does work well though for PLA

I second the PEI opinion! buy a pei sheet and never look back…

@Griffin_Paquette I like PEI, it’s the best for PLA. I use it on Prusa’s i3 MK2(S) but also glass on Ultimakers 2+/3. Each surface has it limits for different materials. :wink: (And yes, I went through the process of changing PEI on i3 MK2 several times with lemonesol etc. ASA, PETG or Flexfill can wear out PEI quickly, even with separation layer from glue).

Its possible you can print on just clean glass, but does it work with big prints too?
Big prints even in pla tend to curl on the sides.
Also the brand type and batch can vary.

Printing with PLA, I just print directly into the surface that came with the printer. I found that varying the temperature would shift it from ‘does not stick’ to ‘PITA’ to get off. So an intermediate temperature gave the best results.

I started printing on glass from start, because i am too lazy to apply tape :wink:
printing PLA, ABS and lately trying flex TPU on hairspray.

few layers of hairspray (straight laqer, no volume/or other additives) applied on warm bed and then “baked” on max bed temp. cleaning with acetone, just quick wipe every few days.
i tried glue sticks, but found difficult to apply on wider surface.
diy ABS/acetone glue bonds with object, so you have to make it in every color used… and it goes bad after a while.

for extra grip on more demanding ABS prints i clean it and then quickly extra heat it with torch just before printing.
but it can bite so hard it can take chunks of glass with it.
so far i had 3 such instances, one glass plate lasted me ~1year (with flipping).

i look at it this way…
glass kit costs ~same as commercial solutions like printbite, zebra plate…
is far less susceptible to damage from nozzle.
requires bit more temp, then newer solutions.

@Anan_Leelasmanchai well I have a heated bed. I probably couldn’t get it to do it without it. It’s just a combination of temps and settings.

@Nate_T ok well I only run PLA and I use a heated bed on top of that. I do know that if my bed temps are wrong, it won’t stick.