Trying Out Different Kinds of Tapes for 3D Printing On

12 Sep


Normally a lot of 3D printers rely on 3M Blue Masking Tape to cover the build plate with. This specific tape offers good adhesion to the built plate, provides an even surface and most of all is great for 3D printing parts over it. The reason for that is because the tape has slightly uneven surface and is enough heat resistant to provide a good adhesion of the printed part on it. The not so good side of things is that the 3D blue masking tape is pretty expensive and you can relatively easy damage it while you are trying to remove the 3D printed model from it when it is finished, especially if the model is pretty small or flat. So we did some tests using different types of tape in order to see if they will be able to provide similar good results like the tape from 3M, but will cost less. Unfortunately these tests did end with only partial success, nevertheless we are going to share our findings as they might be useful to some of you…


We did try using Kapton tape over the Blue masking tape on the build plate that we already had and while it is enough heat resistant, the parts printed on top may not stick that well to it. We have observed some of the edges of larger printed 3D models starting to warp and that is something that you would want to avoid. For smaller 3D prints however the Kapton tape with PLA filament does work pretty well and the bottom part of the model ends up shinier and smoother than when printing on other rougher surfaces.


Trying out the common white painter tape that is much cheaper alternative to the 3M Scotch blue masking tape it does not work out that great. The main problem that the common white painter masking tape has is that it is not so heat resistant and the glue can start to let go, even though the object you are printing on top may initially stick very well to the tape it can start to warp at the edges. With that said however the white masking tape could still be useable for smaller 3D prints. The advantage it has besides the lower price is that you can easily remove the tape from the build plate and with it the 3D printed object will very easily be removed from the build plate.

We have also tried other different types of tapes, but unfortunately the results we’ve got were not that good. The main problem was low heat resistance in most of the tapes that ended up in the glue giving up or the tape starting to curl, also the 3D printer part starting to warp at the edges is another common problem. With Kapton tape and the common white masking tape you can pretty much have good results when using on printers that do not have a heated build plate and printing PLA. On printers using ABS filament for printing and a heated build plate the Kapton tape should work much better however, so you can try it.

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3 Responses to Trying Out Different Kinds of Tapes for 3D Printing On


December 17th, 2014 at 08:10

In ontario, canada (as brands might vary by region) my results so far about 6 months in are:

Scotch Blue = Print sticks well and removes well from tape, but tape releases from glass bed (glue doesnt hold)

Painters Mate Green = Print sticks well, but does not remove well, green tape left behind. Sticks great to glass bed

Home Hardware White (plain) masking tape = Print sticks well and removes well. Sticks great to glass bed. Overall winner. It’s not as thin as the others, but I’m not sure if that matters.

A lot of people say no to white masking tape but I started with it because it’s all I had at home when my printer arrived, and I was shocked to see how disappointing colored tapes were after all the things I read online. So I’m wondering if it’s regional. Does most of the world have bunk plain tape and I have the goods here?


February 5th, 2015 at 20:36

I have used green painters tape branded as “Frog Tape” here in the UK, the results were great.

Morgan May

April 15th, 2015 at 16:56

Does anyone have a specific type, SKU number or part number for the painters tape to use? I’ll try everything and anything, but narrowing the search would be great, 3M seems to have several hundred different type of Blue tape.


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