The PRINTinZ Printer Plate – once known as the Ninja Printer Plate – was developed as an alternative to the standard print surfaces being used on consumer-level 3D printers. The fused filament printing process puts extreme demands on a print surface, and while there must be enough adhesion between the filament and build platform to prevent the print from lifting off as the material prints, the plate needs to be capable of allowing a finished print to be removed without causing damage. A printer plate needs to be chemically correct to allow ABS and PLA plastics to stick to it without the use of blue tape, hair spray or ABS slurry solutions.
It’s the ability of the plate to be removed that let’s users pop off their completed prints by simply twisting it like you might an ice cube tray to remove the item(s). The plate can then be replaced for another run.
“We’ve been testing the new ‘formulation’ for a while now and have had virtually flawless results, at least regarding sticking to the print surface,” says the PRINTinZ team. “Even the most amazing print plate cannot fix extruder or filament problems. The new plate differs in surface smoothness. The original plate was very slightly irregular, which usually resulted in a textured bottom surface to all prints. Not an issue, but the new plate is far smoother, making prints have a near-perfect bottom.”
The company says the new, smoother surface “is a bit more demanding when it comes to leveling” as the textured surface of the old plate was more forgiving of off-level beds. While the new plate may be slightly less forgiving in that regard, they say “that’s the price for receiving perfectly flat bottoms to your prints.”
They also recommend mounting the plate to the print bed with strong paper or plastic clips to ensure the center of the plate is touching the bed and slight “bubbling” is prevented.
PRINTinZ says that while their plates eventually wear out, they can be used for hundreds of hours by printing on different areas of the product and then turning it over to use the other side to gain even more hours of print time. The PRINTinZ plates are available based on size, and depending on the specs of your printer, one of the fourteen different sizes should work. The plates retail for between $25 and $105.
“We have sold plates for Makerbot Replicator 1, Replicator 2 and 5th Generation printers, Printrbot Printers, RepRaps, Delta style printers, Afinia printers, Solidoodle printers, Ultimaker1 and Ultimaker 2 printers, Wanhao printers, Flashforge printers, Makergear printers and many other custom size machines,” say PRINTinZ.
The PRINTinZ Plates have been tested with materials like PLA, Laywood, T-glase and NinjaFlex, but they say their results haven’t been as good with nylon filaments. The Printer Plates are constructed of a fiberglass laminate skin bonded to a flexible substrate.
Have you ever used a PRINTinZ Printer Plate in your work? Let us know in the PRINTinZ Printer Plate Formulation and Texture forum thread on 3DPB.com.