The purpose of a heated bed on 3D printers is to provide a semi-warm place for the initial layers to fuse together and maintain strength and toughness.
Like most 3D printer settings, your bed temperature should be in the sweet spot between too much heat and not enough heat.
When the bed is too cold, the foundation of your part will become too hard before laying flat. This creates warping, a lack of bed adhesion, and a failed print.
At the other end of the bed temperature spectrum is a too-hot bed. While more heat may sound like “better bed adhesion”, a part’s foundation could melt too much. In most cases, melting at the base makes the part stick to the bed too much. When it comes time to remove your print, the removal process could lead to a damaged part or plate since you’ll likely need to pry off the part with hand tools. If you end up needing to use a scraper, you could even bend your part or cut through the first couple of layers. Another result of high bed temperatures is ‘Elephant’s Foot’, a phenomenon where a bulging base of melting plastic forms around the edge of the part’s foundation.
Advanced 3D printers built for high-performance plastics typically give users control over both the bed temperature and the ambient chamber temperature. If your printer is capable of controlling chamber temperatures, you should be aware of the balance between too-hot and too-cold, as well.
If you’re interesting in learning more about tuning, check back on the blog for more updates and visit our YouTube channel for more videos!