Just got an Ender 3 a week ago. This is my first 3D printer. On the 5th print the object ended up tearing away the surface of the print bed such that it's no longer usable. Trying to work out if this is something that I did wrong or if this is faulty material or a combination of the two?

To set the print head I watched a few tutorials and carefully followed the instructions checking the height with a piece of paper at each corner and in the center and repeated this until it was set.

I watched a couple more tutorials on how to remove the pieces from the bed. I have been removing the top sheet from the print bed by detaching the paper clips. Using the supplied putty knife I've worked around the edges tapping gently with a rubber mallet to get the putty knife under the piece and loosen it before it pops off.

Afterwards I've used the putty knife to scrape off any other residue to make sure that the surface is smooth.

The first 2 prints were with PLA and then the next 3 with PETG. The damage happened when removing a piece printed with PETG.

My specific questions: Is my approach to removing a print incorrect? If so, what would the correct approach be? Did this cause the damage?

  • $\begingroup$ I've only seen that kind of damage when either z-offset or lack of leveling drove the nozzle into the bed. Did you're first layer look normal? $\endgroup$ – Perry Webb Jun 22 '20 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ Agree with others. You'll need to replace the mat (but it's not that hard or expensive). But the mats should last much longer than a week. This looks like the nozzle was much too close to the print surface. When next leveling, give it just a hair (literally!) more space. $\endgroup$ – Joel Coehoorn Sep 24 '20 at 19:05

your print surface is destroyed

So, you managed to rip off your print surface in the center. Happened to me too. the corners of my scraper were too sharp, cutting the surface. Another time I did pierce the surface with my nozzle. Damage happens. Replacement surfaces for the Ender3 start at about 5 bucks a piece. So get yourself some spares. Clean your bed before applying the new one.

Removal process

To properly remove a print from the bed, grab your srcaper blade and do the following:

  • sharpen the edge only on ONE side.
  • soften the corners, they should be slightly rouned.

Make sure the scraper is kept sharp.

When removing prints, be slow! Push the scraper against the bed with the bevel upwards. Apply careful pressure till the tip moves just a little. Move to a different spot till the blade slips under a little, then work the scraper left and right. You'll hear a sucking sound, that's the print coming free. It gets much easier if you let the bed cool down.

For very tall prints with a relatively small area, you might not need the scraper at all.

PETG has a tendency to stick too much with glass and fuse with PEI. We don't know if the Build-Tak clone Creality uses contains PEI. I suggest to grab gluestick to add a safety layer for printing PETG.

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    $\begingroup$ In addition OP likely has the bed too high. Prints (including PETG) come off the Ender 3 print surface easily if it's leveled correctly. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Jun 22 '20 at 3:38
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    $\begingroup$ If I have the bed well heated and let it cool after the print, the thermal mismatch tends to release the print from the bed. $\endgroup$ – Perry Webb Jun 22 '20 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE, these types of issues occur when your bed is too high. If you're tired of leveling the bed manually you can consider an automatic bed leveling kit. $\endgroup$ – Dr. Mantis Tobbogan Jun 22 '20 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ You must have a small bed. 400 x 400 mm PEI sheets cost considerably more than $5. $\endgroup$ – Perry Webb Sep 30 '20 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ @PerryWebb an Ender3 has 235x235 mm - which is what OP has! replacement sheets (NOT PEI) for that machine cost about 15-20 € per 3 on amazon. 400x400 PEI is entirely something different. $\endgroup$ – Trish Sep 30 '20 at 13:17

PETG sticks to the bed much easier than PLA or ABS. I've found it harder to release from the bed. Note this reference indicates PETG can cause bed damage.


If you aren't printing directly on glass, you can use a lower bed temperature to see how it affects the adhesion. Note this reference indicates you don't need a heated bed for PETG on an adhesive surface.


With a PEI sheet on a glass bed at 50C, I'm getting good adhesion without it being too much.


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