When you 3D print, hot temperatures are involved with creating them. People naturally wonder whether they need to wait for 3D prints to cool down, and how long to do so. This article will answer that question so you have a better knowledge about it.
Keep on reading through this article to learn about 3D prints cooling.
How Long Do 3D Prints Need to Cool?
3D prints only need a few minutes to cool before being removed for the best results. The model itself cools very quickly, but the 3D printer takes time to cool, especially the bed. If you remove your model quickly, you can damage your bed surface or burn yourself from the hot bed. 3D prints remove easier when cooler.
The bottom of the model can be slightly soft depending on how high your printing and bed temperature are.
One user who 3D prints with spring steel PEI says he pulls the model off the detachable bed after the model is finished, letting it cool down in a few minutes, then removing the model.
This is a good idea because the change in temperature from hot to cool releases adhesion from the model to the bed. In some cases, the model can even pop off the print bed itself and not even need pressure to remove it.
An issue you might run into with models that have thin parts is them warping from still being warm. For these types of 3D prints, it’s a better idea to give it a few minutes to cool down before you remove it from the build plate.
If you detach a magnetic PEI bed for example, it should cool down completely in just a few minutes.
Another user said he allows his bed temperature to cool down by around 10°C from what it was set to before removing 3D prints from the bed.
An interesting poll was conducted on this topic to see how long 3D printer users wait before removing a 3D print from the bed, from almost 185 users. The results were:
- As soon as the print is finished (57 votes – 30.8%)
- A set amount of time, 30 minutes to an hour (4 votes – 2.1%)
- When the bed and printer has cooled to room temperature (68 votes – 36.8%)
- When they get around to it (56 votes – 30.3%)
It’s quite an equal mix between those three options, so it seems as though there isn’t a method that’s preferred by a significant majority of people.
One user said that he has actually chipped many glass beds by scraping models off the bed immediately. Another user said he’s quite impatient and takes it off as soon as it’s done, but sometimes burns his hand on the bed because it’s still heated.
Based on this, it’s a good idea to let the bed cool down to a workable temperature like 30-40°C before you try removing the model for safety, and to minimize the risk of damaging the bed.
Glass beds can take longer to cool since they are thicker. I usually recommend people to use spring steel PEI beds because they are versatile and can be flexed to pop models off the surface.
How Long to Let PLA 3D Prints Cool
For PLA 3D prints, you should let them cool for a minute or so before removing them, but it’s not necessary. PLA models usually pop off bed surfaces such as glass or PEI after cooling to lower temperatures. Many users take their PLA 3D prints off the bed while it’s still hot without issues.
A 3D printer like the Ender 3 Pro has a flexible build surface so you can 3D print PLA on it and flex it straight away to remove the model. PLA uses a relatively low bed temperature so it doesn’t need as much time to cool.
A user who owns an Ender V2 with a glass bed says he has a hard time taking 3D prints off his bed plate while the 3D print is still hot. After allowing the bed to cool down to about 25°C to 30°C, the 3D print comes off easily.
How Long to Let PETG 3D Prints Cool
For PETG 3D prints, you should let them cool down to room temperature before removing the print because removing it early can damage your build surface. Many users have had PETG take a chunk out of their bed by removing it while hot. PETG models can even pop off the bed after it’s cooled, especially with a good flex.
One user mentioned that he had PETG take a chunk out of his build plate, but after using hairspray on the bed, it hasn’t happened since. Another user said he uses a 90°C bed and lets the PETG cool, then it pops itself off.