Anet A8 V2: How to 3D print without heat bed

It’s reasonable that the cheaper the 3D printer, the fewer bells and whistles out of the box. However, not all the features are really necessary.

If you are a beginner and looking for a budget 3D printer, like the newly released Anet A8 V2, to save money, ruling out heat beds could be a good tactic.

What Can a Heat Bed Do?

Heated beds can help the model adhere to the build plate by preventing the base of the prints from cooling and losing stickiness. With a good bed adhesion, the object will be stationary when printing.

Keeping filament warm also helps easy warping of the prints. Besides, a heated print bed allows you to print more advanced material better.

Use a bed adhesive

Since the properties of filament won’t change, you can change the surface of the print plate to improve the bed adhesion. You can cover the print bed surface with a material that’s easy for the filament to stick to.

Using some tape can be the least messy way to help objects stick to the print bed. Masking tape and blue painter’s tape can do a good job. But masking tape can leave a lot of residue on the plate, while blue painter’s tape can get the job done neatly. Kapton tape can finish the job best while it’s the most expensive.

Except for tape, glue sticks and hair spray are also good choices. Or you can try some advanced special adhesive like Magigoo or Wolfbite.

Adjust slicer setting

In theory, to get a better bed adhesion, you have to increase the amount of time the part spent above its glass transition temperature, the temperature plastic starts to deform. There are a few setting in the slicer software can do some help.

Increase print temperature

Commonly, you are advised to set the print temperature as the manufacturer recommends. But when 3D printing without a heated bed, you need to set the value of the print temperature 10°C to 20°C higher than the recommended value. Because with a higher starting point, it will take a longer time to reach the glass transition temperature, so that it’s less likely to turn solid when warping and shrinking.

Lower print Speed

Likewise, you need to change the print speed to improve the first layer results. The base speed setting has little influence on first layer adhesion. You need to pay attention to the first or initial layer print speed setting. As needed, go down your first layer speed in increments of 5mm/s from the recommended value.

Brim & Raft Setting

A brim or a raft is an assistant part that is added before printing your prints for better bed adhesion. A brim is a perimeter that goes around and attaches to the print, and a raft is an entire base structure that’s printed as the base of your print. Since a raft can consume a fair lot of material, it’s recommended to start with a brim first.

Stable ambient temperature

As we mentioned above, extend the amount of time the print stays above its glass transition temperature can help reduce warping and get better bed adhesion, you can keep the ambient temperature close to the glass transition temperature of the filament. That’s where an enclosed 3D printer shows its advantage. With an open-frame 3D printer as an Anet 3D printer, you can manually add some “walls” around your printer and prints to slow down heat loss.

Clean the bed

After a couple of times printing, oils from your hands, residue from glue or tape and other grime can make the print bed surface uneven and cause poor first layer adhesion. You need to clean your print bed every 5-10 prints. Wiping the bed using a damp cloth is enough, or you can try acetone when dealing with stuck residue.

All the tricks listed above are not only limited to the printer without a heat bed, they also help improve bed adhesion in the heated bed. A budget 3D printer like Anet A8 V2 may be weak in some advanced printing, but it’s a more accessible bridge for a newbie to create 3D prints. Just follow the tips, you will get quite beautiful prints.

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