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Phantastic Plastic
(@phantastic-plastic)
Active Member
Mk4 PEI sheet maintainance

I know there's lots of posts out there on print sheet maintenance and all kinds of opinions and voodoo but I thought I was doing it right and had a spaghetti print and am now questioning everything.  I have been using a lint free cloth and 99.9% isopropyl to clean before every print (I'm just using PLA still for now).  I can still see shadows of prior prints on the plate, the isopropyl doesn't usually remove that. Is that ok? Should I be doing something different for routine cleaning of the PEI sheet?  Should I be periodically flipping the double sided plate over or is the other side just for when I totally screw up the first side? 

Thanks.

Best Answer by cnelson:

I want to add that if that doesn't improve adhesion then it's recommended to occasionally swab the smooth PEI with acetone. Use a pure acetone, apply it to a cotton cloth or sturdy paper towel and swab the plate with it. It'll help where the other methods fail.

This topic was modified 7 months ago by Phantastic Plastic
Posted : 25/07/2023 7:16 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Mk4 PEI sheet maintainance

I use 99% IPA between prints but once I see build-up or any adhesion issues I take the sheet to the sink, scrub it with dish washing soap and plenty of hot water. 

Posted : 25/07/2023 8:46 pm
cnelson
(@cnelson)
Active Member
RE: Mk4 PEI sheet maintainance

I want to add that if that doesn't improve adhesion then it's recommended to occasionally swab the smooth PEI with acetone. Use a pure acetone, apply it to a cotton cloth or sturdy paper towel and swab the plate with it. It'll help where the other methods fail.

Posted : 30/07/2023 10:56 pm
Phantastic Plastic
(@phantastic-plastic)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Mk4 PEI sheet maintainance

Wanted to document my experience for others as this is clearly a topic of great debate. I found a lot of warnings about acetone and smooth PEI so I kept trying other methods but my adhesion just stunk and I had to use the other side of my plate prematurely. I ordered some 100% pure acetone and gave the bad side a single wipe-down.  Worked like absolute magic!  Ignore the haters, if you've tried non-acetone methods and still have issues you really have nothing to lose as you are just going to end up having to use the other side or replace the bed anyway, so give acetone a shot.  Sounds like you absolutely shouldn't use it routinely, but don't hesitate to try.  A lot of nail-polish remover has other junk in it, so take the time and effort to get the pure stuff. 

Posted : 26/08/2023 4:39 pm
cnelson liked
Artur5
(@artur5)
Reputable Member
RE: Mk4 PEI sheet maintainance

I disagree. Acetone is not needed to clean PEI surfaces, HOT water and dish soap will work as well and won’t kill the PEI prematurely. Many users here are using plates several years old still perfectly functional. Myself, I own one satin and one smooth plate. After almost three years, I’m still printing on the same side of the plates because they’re undamaged to practical effects. It wouldn’t be the case if I had cleaned them with acetone on a regular basis, That goes specially for textured plates.

Of course you’re free to use the cleaning method that you think is best, but PEI plates aren’t cheap.

Posted : 26/08/2023 5:57 pm
Phantastic Plastic
(@phantastic-plastic)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Mk4 PEI sheet maintainance

Yeah, definitely tried that repeatedly. No dice. Acetone is a great bail out when other options fail. Agree with trying that first though. Like I said it was already end of the road otherwise.  Some posts have a bit too much FUD surrounding this. I went several weeks hesitating on this. Wish I did it sooner. 

Posted : 26/08/2023 7:13 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Illustrious Member

The Mk4 uses the same sheets as the Mk3; established best practice is:

Clean with IPA between prints.

At the first hint of a problem, use dishwashing detergent and HOT water.

If that's not enough ON THE SMOOTH SHEET ONLY use acetone: once or twice a year at most.

Cheerio,

Posted : 26/08/2023 10:09 pm
cnelson
(@cnelson)
Active Member
RE: Mk4 PEI sheet maintainance

I wouldn't have recommended it if it weren't specifically recommended as correct usage in the "Prusa 3D Printing Handbook" that came with my MK3S+. It's also echoed in the MK4 handbook. I've done an acetone swab on my original smooth sheet 4 times in a year and a half and I'm printing on it 24/7. It worked where other preparation methods were failing, including dish soap/water. 

Posted : 27/08/2023 12:42 am
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