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I have a simple printer bot metal with a heated bed, the heated bed I am not using. I am using conductive pla by protopasta

The conductive pla is not that strong, so when I take my pieces off the board, sometimes they break. The only time it appears to be invincibly strong is when it sticks to the bed plate! I cannot get the skirt off the bed plate, no matter what I try

  • a razor blade does not work, even when the bed isn’t heated and after dumping a bunch of acetone on the board
  • using no skirt does not work, as the printer clogs itself
  • it is difficult enough to remove to the point that printing itself isn’t fun
  • when scratching it off, the pieces only chip, because they stick better to the bed than they do to themselves (unlike PLA)

What’s a good way to remove a conductive pla skirt from one of the beds? The skirt is the initial outline a printer lays down, it is very thin

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I have no experience with your printer model nor with protopasta conductive PLA but since your problem is "too much adhesion" I would simply suggest to follow in reverse all the usual advices on how to make the first layer adhere better (a far more common problem). The list of suggestion could be:

  • Print fast
  • Do no squash the first layer (see @fred_dot_u answer)
  • Make sure the part fan is on
  • Reduce the temperature slightly
  • ...

The problem could also be due to the chemical interaction between the surface of your plate and the specific material (for example: it is known that glass - a relatively difficult surface to use with PLA - bonds so well to PETG that sometimes it chips off the bed when you remove the print). If this is the case you could for example cover your bed in painter's tape and see if the protopasta conductive PLA adhere worse to it than to the bare bed. Worst case scenario, you could remove the tape with the print and scrub it off from it afterwards with a metal brush or a bit of sandpaper.

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    $\begingroup$ I ended up using painter's tape. I think it is a chemical interaction with the bed. $\endgroup$ – K Mmmm Apr 5 '18 at 21:05
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Based on your description "it is very thin" about the skirt, and by the other characteristics you've provided, I suggest that your z-height for the first layer is suspect of being too small, too close to the bed.

If you have calibration specific to z-height only, re-calibrate and make a test print with skirt. If the test is better, this tells you that the previous setting was at fault. If the test is not better, use a different setting by 0.01 mm or 0.02 mm and run another test.

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I think the setting having the most significant effect would be to increase the Z-height by 0.05-0.1mm so that the skirt is not "sandwiched" against the bed like typical first layers in FDM. This should reduce the adhesion enough for you to remove the skirt from the bed without damage.

Alternatively, you could also increase the skirt extrusion width if possible (more material=stronger) and/or print another layer of skirt on top (skirt layers=2).

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