THE BEST way to remove parts off build plate

I always see people complain about how difficult it is to remove parts off the build plate.

This doesn’t seem to be a very well known trick, and maybe Formlabs needs to put this on their instruction pages, but this trick from a long time ago is the only way I remove parts.

Sometimes for large flat items or rafts, snipping edges with side cutters as shown in the video to release a portion or the part and then sliding under with the metal spatula also works incredibly well. I’ve never had part removal issues after adopting this technique a year or two ago.

Just wanted to share as it seems to be such a common problem.


Agree, this has saved me a lot of grief. Also - on parts with large-ish rafts, if you squirt a little IPA around the perimeter, when the part starts to lift the IPA seems to wick into the gap and helps break the seal to the plate.

Yeah totally. I’m going to film a video of my technique and post it here later this week for others to watch.

I use these techniques too. However, on some of my printers with certain materials the parts stick so much that snips will fracture the part or chip an edge. This is especially true for items printed directly on the build platform like molds made in clear. For those cases, I use a razor scraper to ‘break the seal’ with the platform, then lift the rest of the way the other tools or pop it off completely with the scraper. Works great and saves me a lock of time and headaches. Use the platform holder and push away from yourself so you don’t accidentally get cut if the part pops loose.

The IPA can also make a small difference. I usually wash the entire platform when I have a delicate mold to remove, then use the scraper to break the seals around the corner and pop off the part. This also prevents the parts from being marred by the snips.

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I use the method of @microdev as well. I think this method is best for your build plate too.

But I can imagine it can be very very dangerous for people not used to handle sharp things.

Start on a corner and balance the razor left and right around the same point. Thrust is almost not needed. Because of the razor edge, the razor will soon get between the raft and the platform much easier than the included scraper, at which moment you can lever at one of the extremes and twist the razor gently up until it indeed “breaks the seal”
Full raft is beter suited than Mini rafts for this.

After popping up the parts, the razor can scrape the build plate off of any aluminium protuberances in the scratches.

I actually haven’t tried the IPA trick…may give that a try on really large parts next time to see how well it works. Generally speaking, snipping a corner with side cutters and sliding a spatula down under and gently wiggling back and forth has always worked for me regardless of resin type or whether built directly on the platform (and I use/stock basically all the resins).

I just posted a short video showing how the technique being talked about here:

I generally don’t like using a razor because of the high probability of cutting yourself :slightly_smiling_face:


@leonhart88 Philip, thanks for the video.
Tip: After replacing the stock pliers with this precision one:
I became a happier guy :grin:
No burrs, less scratching the BP, and perfectly flat removal of supports. The smaller jaws get in easier in places too.

Dammit I had no idea about this trick! I sometimes have struggle removing the parts and this should be quite helpful! Thanks for sharing!!

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Great idea. I’ve been using the stock pliers but I do have better side cutters for other work that perhaps I should try (or buy another pair)!

It’s life changing :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for sharing!
And I will share it with our customized metal parts suppliers also.

I use an “Insulation Knife” to get prints off the build plate. It’s a thin, 12" long blade for cutting fiberglass insulation. I have to admit it’s dangerous as hell if you’re not super careful, but it’s like having a razor blade as big as the build plate. It gets under even the most stubborn prints, prints that the Formlab tool just chips the edges, and it never breaks the base in the process of removing the print.

At one point I tried some other tools, like a 3" wide wood chisel, hoping the milled-flat back would slide along the build plate and the sharp edge would get under no problem. But the angle of the cutting face was too steep and it just chipped away at the print, breaking up the base, same as the FL tool.

I’ve been using the insulation knife since I got my Form2 a few years ago. Works just as good on the Form3 build plate, which is basically the same as the Form2’s. And I am happy to say I have yet to cut myself. I still have all my fingers.

For getting prints off the build plate it is the best of all the tools I tried (and I tried a bunch). It’s optimal in terms of the mechanics of print removal, it’s a long thin stiff lever. But it’s extremely sub-optimal in terms of safety.

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