Hey everyone. This is Matt from IC3D and I am going to show you a quick and easy way to apply kapton tape to any build plate for an FDM style 3D Printer.
For this method, we will need a spray bottle of water, a squeegee with a rubber edge, scissors, and your choice of kapton tape. We have tested numerous kapton tape suppliers, throughout our personal printing experience and what we, at IC3D, have chosen to stock, yields the best adhesion performance for both ABS and PLA.
Having a raised non-slip platform to work on will help to keep the tape from sticking to surfaces other than the build plate. Here we use a piece of one inch foam to support the build plate
Use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to clean the build plate before applying kapton tape. This will help to keep hairs and debris off of the build plate.
Start by spraying the surface of your build plate with water.
Then pull off a piece of kapton tape that is long enough to reach from one end to the other of your build plate. Hold this up and spray it with water. The water will create a temporary buffer between the glass and the adhesive in the tape.
Place your tape onto the build plate and use scissors to cut the tape from the roll.
Position the kapton tape on the build plate. Once you have the tape where you would like it, hold the tape in place with one hand, and squeegee the tape with the other. This will force the water out from between the tape and the plate, causing the adhesive to stick to the plate. Make sure to remove all bubbles from the tape as this will cause problems such as torn kapton tape, poor first layer squish, or dents in the base of parts.
If you mess up, just pull the tape up, spray more water under the tape, and use the squeegee again.
Repeat this process until you have covered all of your build plate
Finally, use some scissors to trim the excess kapton tape from the edge of the plate.
Check for bubbles around the edge of the tape. Use the squeegee to remove them if necessary.
Finally, dry the build plate with a paper towel.