A new innovation for low cost fused filament 3D printers, the GeckoTek 3D Printer Build Plate is an innovative way to avoid the agonies involved in making that first layer of a 3D printing project work.
While most makers are 'stuck,' as it were, using Kapton Tape, Blue tape, hair spray, or ABS dissolved in acetone as aids to make sure the initial layer of extruded plastic adheres correctly to the build platform of their printer, none of those products are actually intended to be used that way.
The result? A level of performance and consistency which is less than ideal.
GeckoTek says they've developed a permanent coating, a coating specifically tailored to meet the needs of 3D printing, which supplies the exact amount of adhesion needed to prevent first layer warping while still allowing for easy part removal when a project is complete.
For printers lacking a heated bed, GeckoTek says their product is "perfect for use with PLA at room temperature." If you do happen to have a heated bed, they add that the GeckoTek 3D Printer Build Plate works with ABS, Nylon, HIPS and a variety of other materials as well.
The secret, according to GeckoTek, is that rather than using the traditional glass or acrylic, their product uses "spring steel" as the substrate. The spring steel allows for the plate to gently flex, and they say that means even the most difficult parts can be removed easily without damage.
Spring steels, in case you aren't familiar with the materials, are low alloy, medium or carbon steels manufactured to very high yield strengths whose primary feature is the ability to resist deformation and return to shape. There are two main methods of production, the most common involving the heat treatment process known as hardening and tempering. Medium and high carbon steels are heated, and then quenched. This process achieves high yield strength, but also introduces brittleness, so the material is subsequently tempered to remove the stresses and greatly reduce the risk of the material breaking.
The product will come with a matching, machined aluminum build plate and embedded magnets to hold the build plate in place. The bottom line? Yet another bonus in that no binder clips will be required to make the system perform.
Available soon on Kickstarter, the GeckoTek Build Plate can be seen in action below, and if you want to join the mailing list and be notified when the campaign officially launches, you can visit GeckoTek3d.com to join their mailing list.