Kapton 'Polyamide' Tape - What's the skinny?

Need some assistance getting started...post here...
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:13 am

Re: Kapton 'Polyamide' Tape - What's the skinny?

Post by ajmadison » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:44 pm

Due to ignorance/inexperience from my method of detaching finished prints, I managed to trash my factory applied Kapton film to my 3 week old M2. I've got some full bed sized kapton sheets coming from Amazoon, but in the mean time, went to apply the tape that came in the box with my printer.

No matter how much I prep the glass, I seem to be getting these weird bits of grit under the tape when applying the kapton, even when using the soapy water as surface preparation method. Not clear where this grit is coming from. To repeat, I've cleaned the glass several ways before application, including, or especially, using a credit card to scrap off even the smallest bit of contaminant. I'm taking extra care with the tape between unrolling it, cutting it, and application (so no, I'm not dragging it across my jeans first *wink*). In some ways, it looks like the kapton's adhesive is chemically or physically reacting with the soapy water? I went with the glass cleaner approach, and that went a lot better, but still not the bubble free examples I've seen on you-tube. For the time being, the middle two strips are good enough for the prints I want to do, so I'm moving ahead, but I'm frustrated that I can't get a relatively bubble free application. If necessary, I'll try the full strip immersion method and see if that makes a difference. Is my choice of liquid soap the problem? There's all kinds of extra additives in dish washing soap these days, skin softeners and perfumes, that maybe one of those contaminates is causing this weird grit thing?

(and yes, I know I could just replace the bed material, I'll keep that in mind, just want to know about tape application, thank you)

User avatar
Posts: 2007
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:59 am

Re: Kapton 'Polyamide' Tape - What's the skinny?

Post by insta » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:36 pm

Dirty water, maybe? Clean the glass with hot water and a Magic Eraser, then rinse with distilled water and dry with a lint-free cloth. Use the same distilled water to make your bed soap solution.

Kapton + hairspray works amazingly well for ABS parts, especially when combined with a flexible steel bed :)
Custom 3D printing for you or your business -- quote [at] pingring.org

User avatar
Posts: 3144
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:36 am

Re: Kapton 'Polyamide' Tape - What's the skinny?

Post by Jules » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:23 pm

Not clear where this grit is coming from.
How are you applying the soapy water? Sponge? (I'd go with grit in the sponge as the culprit.)

I floated several full sheet Kaptons on without any issues by:

1. Taking a clean small spray bottle of tap water
2. 1 tiny drop of Dawn dishwashing detergent (blue) in the clean water
3. Spritzing the glass until the water puddled on it, (did this on a towel because the water tends to run off and make a mess)
4. Laid the Kapton down gently on the puddle, moved it into place
5. Spritzed more water on top of the Kapton
6. Water running out everywhere :shock:
7. Started by lightly pressing down on the Kapton to get most of the water out, then grabbed a large plastic quilting ruler and gently using it to squeegee across the top of the Kapton.

If you have an actual squeegee (like for cleaning the walls in the shower, or window cleaning) that would probably work even better, but I didn't think about it at the time, and the ruler was handy. :)

I think by using something large enough to span the entire plate, it cut way down on large bubbles under the tape. There were a couple of tiny ones left under it. After the Kapton had a chance to dry though, those little bubbles disappeared. (It takes several days for the water to work it's way completely out.) As long as there is not actually grit in there, the bubbles should eventually go away.

And by floating it on, you can pick it up and try again if you get a big bubble in there. :D

Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:13 am

Re: Kapton 'Polyamide' Tape - What's the skinny?

Post by ajmadison » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:36 pm

Think I have hint on where the grit is coming from. The original desktop where I tried to apply new Kapton, looked clean, but was covered in, yup, grit. I think the grit stuck to the sides of the Kapton tape roll, when I set up the printer, and that is how this problem seem to follow me all over the house, as that I tried recovering the glass in the kitchen, and a home office. So two lessons. 1. Keep your tape roll *clean*. Like put it in a sealable bag as soon as you unpack it from the box. and 2. Check the sides of the tape before you unroll it.

Post Reply