Glass bed?

Has anyone tried to install a glass bed? What modification have you done? Where have you bought it? Is it any good with the heated bed?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I did not try with the MP3DP since I don’t have one, but I did it on my 4 other printers, including the MPCNC.

Glass works very well provided you’re using some glue sticks or hair spray. Instead of buying a glass plate, I suggest you to find a mirror, they are much more easy to source for cheap. You can look at Ikea or any other hardware stores, depending on your bed size it can be easy or hard to get, unless you get one custom made.

I use a borosilicate glass plate with mine and have a PEI sheet on top of that. I find that it takes the glass about 5-10 mins longer to heat up then the heated bed does. IE: the bed will get to 65c but then I have to wait another 5-10 mins for the glass surface to reach the same temp.

So far, it is working good - adhesion isn’t my problem - other things are. lol.

10 minutes? I think your heating plate might be underpowered, maybe you can supply it with 24 volts instead of 12.

On my printers it usually takes around 1 minute to reach the temperature, with a 5mm thick glass plate.

I followed the advice of a fellow tinkerer and just went to the dollar store, picked up a photo frame with glass. Took it home, pulled the glass out, cut it to size and set it on top of my badly warped, scarred and bubbled PEI sheet. It’s held in place by painters tape.

I used to get so frustrated with adhesion issues. Since putting on the cheap piece of “whatever” glass, I’ve been printing without fail, with amazing adhesion. I plowed through a whole spool and am about halfway through another (the printer has almost literally been going non-stop since the glass success). No glue, no hairspray, no rafts, no nothing. Super smooth base layers, automatic release when the glass cools. It’s amazing…so amazing.

If had printed this on the PEI before the glass it would have been all scalloped (like fish scales). This is smooth as can be and STUCK down. [attachment file=93553]

I use glass on my ender 3. The bed has a pretty deep bow/dip in the middle. I out some thermal tape to keep it from moving, and also helps with the bead heating up. The ender 3 is 24v though, so that might just be why it’s good at heating up.

I wouldn’t recommend to tape your glass. Sure it works, but it isn’t necessary, and it makes removing the glass a painful process. Just use some paper clamps instead, it won’t move.

The point of being able to remove the glass is that you can print almost continuously: whenever your print is finished, just remove the plate, let it cool down and meanwhile you can drop another glass plate and launch a new print. Saves about 10-15 minutes each time.

Glue or spray are not necessary for most PLA prints, but it can be useful in some cases:

-Whenever you print big stuff, it will prevent warping and become necessary

-In case your heating bed temperature drops during the print (big change in ambiant temp or a bed failure), it which case the print will still stay in place

-If you want to save elctricity: you can activate the bed for the first 10-15 layers and then switch it off. The heating bed is the most significant power hungry device of the printer, it accounts for about 90% of it, so keeping it enabled for the shortest time can save a significant amount of money if you print a lot.

I’m trying to recall exactly what it is, but it’s not really a sticky tape, it’s kind of like a thermal pad, I can still remove the bed easily. I think it’s silicone, 6 of my printers have a pretty big dip in the middle, and it supports the middle quite well.

I’ve often tried to figure out how much electrical stuff “costs” to run but never come up with anything more than convoluted math that makes me wish I hadn’t tried to figure it out. Are these things really that “expensive” to run?

I can’t find it but Ryan had some reading from a “Kill a Watt” that measured how much power it used. It was in the forums a few month ago.


They don’t pull much, there’s a makers Muse video where he tests different printers and usage. Heated bed uses the most power, but the total number is not that much.

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Yeah I was pretty shocked, I spend $2.55 per day on 6 printers running 24 hours (with heated beds @63). I will have to see if my rate is any different in the new spot.

It’s not that much and it is actually very easy to calculate.

Just measure how many amps your power supply is drawing while printing, then multiply it by the voltage of your plug. So, let’s say 2 amps @ 110V for example. then lets say your printer will run for 3 hours.

The total consumption will be 2 amps x 110V x 3hours = 660Wh.

Then take the KWh price of electricity you usually pay wherever you live, which according to Google is 12 cents in average, so 0.12 Dollar.

660Wh being 0.66KWh, you just multiply 0.66KWh x 0.12 USD = 0.079 USD.

So basically this print cost you around 8 cent of electricity.

This is very easy to calculate and it is valid to ballpark the power cost of any device you want, a laptop, an air conditioner, a water heater, whatever.

In most cases this is negligible, but for people who want to print a bit more eco friendly, or for people who print a huge amount of stuff this could matter.

But, 2A at the wall, not 2A from the power supply. Add in the fact that the heated bed isn’t on all the time, only when it’s less than the set temperature.

That would work for the dewalt 660, which is 5A, always on, but not as well for a printer.

A kill-a-watt or similar device can measure the current and accumulate it. It has measurements for avg, and max, current and power.

We used one a while ago and found out my desktop computer was a real hog. So was the heater (but not the filter) on our fish tank. I bought a NAS with good power specs and set the desktop to auto hybernate and the next fish were cold water fish.

I’m just happy to hear some examples and other’s numbers…I’ll trust in that. I always thought the math was irrelevant since our power rate changes based on time of day around here. Not sure if it’s the same everywhere.

Now, the effect of a swimming pool heater and a radiant tube heater in the shop - well THAT’S clear to see on the gas bill each month. Haha

Yes, that’s why I said to measure what the power supply is drawing, not what whatever is connected to the power supply is drawing. Otherwise you’ll miss the losses from the power supply and multiply by 12, 24 or whatever voltage you’re using instead of 110.


Yep, you need to average the measure, which is pretty easy to do. The idea is to get a ballpark figure here with just a simple multimeter and no fancy equipment, if you want a super precise measurement then you’ll need more sophisticated stuff and account for many more parameters.

Just take the average of both, the chances you’ll print something at any of these times windows should be relatively the same.

I use Purple Glue Stick on mirrors or glass depending on the printer and its shape. The rectangle glass i got at the hardware store as replacement glass and the mirrors i usually pick up at hobby lobby. With this and PLA I do not have any need for a heated bed. I have an Acrylic Frame I3 an Ender 3 an FLsun Kossel and this works with all of them. All of the mentioned printers have a heated bed but i do not use them often. I also use auto bed leveling on all of these printers all of which use a micro switch and not inductive or capacative sensors. I did have to buy an 18" round mirror from Amazon for my latest project.

After a bunch of prints on the glass bed and seeing how amazing it is that the parts just auto release when the glass cools enough I’m really getting keen on this concept of several pieces of glass ready and waiting. How long does it take to warm up the new piece assuming the bed stays on at the end of the previous print?

Told’ ya glass was much better than this weird PEI bed stuff! hehe.

It depends on the power of your bed. In my case it takes maybe 20 seconds for the new glass to reach the temp if the bed is already hot. In any case, it will usually take much less time than the autobed leveling process, and since you have to do it before starting a new print (because you changed to a new glass plate), well you won’t have to care about it.

Usually whenever a print is finished, I just remove the plate, put it aside, drop the new plate, secure it, clean the nozzle and hit print. The printer does its calibration, heats up the extruder again and then starts printing.

Meanwhile, usually the other plate cooled down and I can detach the print from it, clean the glass and go for another beer waiting for the new print to be finished.