Simple trick to remove prints effortlessly

I feel like this works so well formlabs should give me something for posting this.

When you’re printing something flat without supports (what I usually do) you can effortless remove the print without damaging it by…

  1. Squirting some IPA on the print.
  2. Use a can of air gently (don’t put the nozzle right on the part) to blow away excess resin and IPA.
  3. Wipe away excess resin off the build platform.

this is the trick

  1. Turn the can of air upside down and spray the part and along its edges. You will notice as the cold liquid hits the part it will lift off the surface. From here you can gently tap the part off the platform.

I learned this trick using my original 3D printer. It works because the plastic changes shapes when it gets cold and thus breaks its bond to the build platform.

Happy printing!


Pipe freezer. It shrinks the part, and the part pops right off.

how noticeable is the shrinkage?

This is awesome. Is it possible to make a video of it to show how easy it is in comparison with the regular method?

Not noticeable. It expands again almost immediately when it takes a bath.

Yes, I will post a video. I’ve been using this trick for >20 prints. Maybe 5 of those were for small hand wired circuits. Sort of like a pcb, only with channels for trace wires and sockets for components. That’s also working well for me.

Muito bom esse vídeo cera de grande ajuda.

excellent, thank you for this info

I should add I originally learned this trick to remove PLA prints off my Rostock Max. It works on either type of printer. The important thing is that the thermal expansion of the plastic is different than the bed/platform.

I can’t make a video today but expect something soon.

Finally made a video :slight_smile:!AsDrOapsdMSUkusKH-ent2S3gpHhmg

I did this using a 0.5mm print. Normally my prints are ~2mm or thicker. Those work better, but as you can see, this still works with the thinnest of prints!


Nice. I suppose a non-consumable version would be setting a cheap TEC (hooked up to 12-v) on the build plate for a few minutes.

Nice to know you can print directly on the plate too, thanks!

We’re on the same page. I had hoped Formlabs would appriciate this tip enough for some swag (or even a free printer). …Maybe that’s unrealistic, but being able to print on the platform is a big win.

In my mind, Formlabs simply needs to make their build platform out of something that changes size considerably with temperature. During a print they control it, then after a print they fluxuate the temp to free the part.

My old PLA printer could use the same tech. I suggested the same thing when I first discovered this to SeeMeCNC (the guys who made my Rostock Max). They didn’t do anything with the info. I hope Formlabs is different.


I guess the biggest problem with printing directly on the build plate is prints can’t be oriented at an angle without supports to minimize the peel forces.

For flat plates like what you have shown aren’t an issue, but I think it might be for most the parts I’ll be printing.

But yeah - if you use this often - I would seriously recommend a TEC. One TEC with cooling fan (the hot side of a TEC needs to be cooled) is likely the cost of a compressed air can - and will last much much longer. Probably way more environmentally friendly too.

I know what you mean about FDM printers. Once my heated bed cools prints usually break off on their own.

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Printing directly on the platen can be useful, but dimensional accuracy suffers greatly (Z is undersized, and X&Y are oversized) due to the compression layers that are designed to be used only by the support base. The laser curing profile is also different at these layers because making the base stick to the platen is the primary objective, than up where the part typically starts, so some over-curing will occur which will tend to make the final part a bit more brittle.

That said, this is still a great method for removing the base from the platen. Cool :slight_smile:

Awesome… This could be very helpful! Thanks

I think freeze spray should work also and will use less gas. I don’t know if this would be cheaper than

This was a welcomed idea. I ran out and bought some keyboard cleaner immediately and tried it on a print that was just completing. It was a print direct on the print platform and the part was 12mm thick. It was Tough 2 resin.

I cleared off the excess resin, sprayed the junction between the part and the platform. Was not able to budge it no matter what. I tried several more times without success. I think ultimately, the part and/or resin ended up frozen. I have not tried again, yet, as the part shattered when I eventually tried to take it off with force.

Question: Are you spraying the part, the platform, or the junction between the two?

Your idea makes good mechanical and logical sense and I really want to be able to use it successfully. A lot of the types of tool-related parts I print benefit from being direct on the platform, but I need a way to remove them successfully.

The new support bases have a lip that go all the way around the perimeter. I just use the spru cutters and lay them flat and give them a snip and it pops off really easy. I remember when I first got my printer the supports were really tough to take off and I almost lost a thumb.

I ripped a few pairs if gloves trying to peel off the supports of the white resin version 2. Not had any issues with the grey or clear but the new white is very much harder to manage and the sanding after has been quite frustrating. Looks great but a lot more work. Hopefully just the batch and not a long term difference in the resins

You don’t remove the supports while the part is fresh?

ive tried straight off the printer on 3 separate white resin version 2 prints and all of them were the same resistance. fine for prying off the build plate but after removing the base of the supports at the bottom as instructed by formlabs with the flush cutters the supports are very strong and sharp. normally the supports peel off easily by hand on the grey and clear resins but the white I have had to soak overnight in IPA to soften them and use flush cutters to remove all the supports that cannot be peeled off. I have also tried at different point sizes and density of supports and at 50 and 25 micron settings