Without a doubt having a removable bed surface for a 3D printer is a god send. But does the BIQU Super Spring Steel build platform hold up to its claims. Let’s find out in this review of the BIQU Super Spring Steel sheet.
This product has been sent with the kind generosity of BIQU for the purpose of testing. Furthermore I would like to say an extra thank you to the BIQU team for their patience, whilst I awaited some printer parts.
BIQU Super Spring Steel and Magnetic Plate
Available from AliExpress $27.25 – $38.85
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|Filament Type:||ABS, PETG / PLA, TPU|
|Available Sizes:||220x220mm, 235x235mm, 310x310mm.|
|Type:||Spring Steel Sheet / Magnetic Plate (Flexible Build Surface)|
|Max Temperature:||200˚C / ?|
Below I have listed my first impressions with both the BIQU Super Spring Steel sheet and the Magnetic Plate. A point of note, the supplied size option for the review sample is 310x310mm, which I have been testing out on the Sunlu S8 3D printer. However the 310x310mm build platform should also be the correct dimensions for the Creality CR-10, CR-10S and other 3D printers with a 310x310mm heated bed. But this build platform kit is also available in other sizes such as the 220x220mm for the Anet A8, and 235x235mm for the Creality Ender 3 Pro’s.
BIQU Super Spring Steel
Importantly let’s begin with the first impressions of the BIQU SSS or Super Spring Steel flexible and removable build platform. Firstly packaged together as a kit, it includes the SSS sheet, the Magnetic Plate (Think of a BuildTak style of flexible bed), and the magnetic base to adhere to the heated bed.
Importantly measuring in with an average of 0.4mm, the first impression is just how thin the Super Spring Steel sheet is. Because of this I began to wonder how well it would hold up. However so far, it is holding up extremely well. But I still would prefer a thicker sheet to aid with uneven heated beds.
Nonetheless the texture looks ok and somewhat resembles stippled paint. Without a doubt this texture won’t leave a silky flat surface. Instead it is designed to provide plenty of grip to awkward filaments, such as PETG and ABS. Furthermore the same texture is featured on both sides of the sheet. So if you do accidentally spoil one side, you still have a perfect surface on the other side to work with. Consequentially this offers a little more value for money.
Sadly at the top of the SSS plate and within the build area are two holes. Presumably to hang the Super Spring Steel sheet up when not in use. Naturally this would make sense. But to have holes within the printable area is disappointing. Without a doubt it would have made more sense to place the holes in the thumb grip area instead.
Dimensionally the Super Spring Steel sheet is spot on, with handy thumb tabs to aid lifting the flexible build plate from the heated bed. Although the tabs could be a bit longer as you can accidentally touch the heated bed with your fingers. Importantly painted on the side are safety warnings, such as caution icon and most importantly of all, don’t use a magnetic surface if you have a pacemaker.
Naturally being a textured surface, the base of the print is not going to be smooth. That said the finish isn’t bad, it is just not smooth to look at. However it can at times make spotting the initial layer height a little more difficult.
BIQU Magnetic Plate
Firstly let’s begin by clearing up what exactly the Magnetic Plate is. Importantly this isn’t the magnetic base to which the BIQU Super Spring Steel plate and the Magnetic Plate stick too. Instead it is a flexible removable build platform with a much smoother surface. Which leaves a smooth, flat surface on the bottom of the print with a matt finish. Importantly this type of build platform for the heated bed is perfect for TPU and PLA filaments.
First impressions of the BIQU Magnetic Plate are good, it looks similar to other flexible build surfaces I have used in the past, including BuildTak. However there are unsightly scratch marks over the build platform. But they don’t seem to effect the sticking ability of the build surface. Importantly the Magnetic Plate has a good thickness of 1.1mm. Naturally this aids in offsetting some unevenness from the heated bed. However not as well as a quality borosilicate glass will.
Installation of the magnetic base is a simple task. But patience is the key. Moreover start by wiping down the heated bed with alcohol. I prefer to use 70% alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol. Next carefully place a corner of the magnetic base onto the un-heated bed. Followed by carefully lining up the second corner with as little of the magnetic base touching the bed as possible.
I tend to work left to right. Consequentially I start with the nearest left corner first and then the furthest left corner. However, If the two corners are not lined up, then gently peel off the magnetic base and start again.
Next with the one side lined up, grab a credit card or ideally a vinyl squeegee with a felt cover. Now in small steps, gradually push the magnetic base onto the bed with the squeegee. As a result the magnetic bed not only gets a perfect level of adhesion but the movement forces out any air bubbles.
However if you do find an air bubble while you are laying the magnetic base, see if you can pull back the magnetic base slightly and reapply. But if you can’t lift it off, don’t tear it off. Instead carry on laying the bed working out as many of the air bubbles as possible.
If you couldn’t remove all the air bubbles grab a fine edged craft knife and very carefully create a tiny, tiny slice in the centre of the bubble. Thus releasing the air, and all being well you should be able to push the raised area back onto the build plate.
|Affilate links below:||Vinyl Squeegee|
|Available from AliExpress $2.52|
|Available from Amazon UK £2.85|
|Available from Amazon USA $5.69|
Adhesion / Performance
Below are my experiences with the adhesion abilities of both the BIQU Super Spring Steel and Magnetic Plate.
BIQU Magnetic Plate
Without a doubt the flexible Magnetic Plate build platform, does its job extremely well at 60˚C without any additional glues or adhesion methods. Importantly both TPU and PLA filament stuck to the BIQU Magnetic Plate well. Without any curling or parts lifting off from the build platform.
But before it will release the print, the Magnetic Plate requires a little more cooling than some other flexible magnetic build plates. However I don’t see this as too much of a bad thing. Moreover I would rather wait for it to cool down, then have a failed 3D print due to poor bed adhesion. It just gets boring while calibrating the filament flow rate for a new filament.
While you may want to experiment with running the heated bed at lower temperatures. Personally I find with most flexible beds of this type, 60˚C keeps the print firmly attached regardless of the height of the print.
BIQU Super Spring Steel
Without a doubt the base of the prints are not as nice as when the Magnetic Plate is used. But certain filaments prefer a more textured base to adhere too. Moreover the texture not only gives filaments such as PETG and ABS something to grab a hold of. But the slight gaps between the textures, allow the print to be easily removed when needed.
Undoubtedly PETG and ABS filaments prefer a nice hot bed to sit onto. But all will be in vain if the magnetic bed won’t hold the build platform steady when heated up to 100˚C. While I have not yet tested with ABS because of the lack of an enclosure. However when heated to 100˚C for four hours, there was no sign of the magnetic bed loosing its grip or magnetism. Furthermore when printing PETG, 80˚C seemed to be the sweet spot for getting the most adhesion with PETG filaments.
Additionally you can happily use PLA at 60˚C on the BIQU Super Spring Steel build platform. But it struggles holding TPU down unless the heated bed temperature is set to 80˚C. Which is rather high for TPU. Additionally both PLA and TPU filaments required that little extra squish to stop the corners of prints curling up.
Nonetheless once you have nailed the initial Z-height the TPU continues to hold well.
However the BIQU SSS struggles with PETG filament, with varying results depending on the brand of filament. Consequentially some PETG filaments require additional help in sticking to the BIQU SSS, such as hair spray or glue stick. Alternatively the adhesion greatly improves if you don’t clean the build plate. Instead use the small amount of filament left on the build plate to grip onto the next print. However at some point it will become difficult to remove prints and needs cleaning.
On the whole there is one thing that all the filaments have in common when used with the BIQU SSS build surface. Print removal. Unquestionably the prints are super easy to remove from the build plate, even straight after the print is finished. But a little too easy, as smaller prints can be removed by gently lifting them off the build plate. Naturally it won’t take much to knock over small prints when using the BIQU Super Spring Steel plate. Furthermore supports require a substantial amount of additional grip to the bed. In order to prevent support columns simply falling over while printing.
Without a doubt the BIQU Super Spring Steel sheet is easily kept clean with alcohol and a microfibre cloth. I prefer to use a generous amount of 70% rubbing alcohol and the build plate looks good as new again.
However the Magnetic Plate is typical of build platforms of this type and you can never get them fully clean again. But under no circumstances should acetone be used for either the BIQU SSS or Magnetic Plate, it will likely destroy them.
|Affilate links below:||Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 70%|
|Available from Amazon UK Single 500ml £6.30|
|Available from Amazon UK Pack of Three 500ml £13.77|
|Available from Amazon USA Pack of 6 16 oz $28.93|
While initially the BIQU Super Spring Steel looks good, for me it has a few failings. Moreover the SSS sheet is half the thickness of my other Spring Steel sheets. Consequentially on a larger build platform such as the Sunlu S8’s 310x310mm bed. The thin plate doesn’t help to resolve any issues that are caused if the heated bed is uneven. Secondly the holes on the top of the BIQU SSS sheet reduce the printable area, which is not good.
Thirdly is not a problem as such, it would have been nice if the magnetic sticker was a little oversized. This would make applying the magnetic sticker easier and the excess trimmed with a craft knife. Fourthly the blue painted surface on the build plate is removed when used with PETG. While this shouldn’t effect most prints due to its close proximity to the edge of the build plate. Nonetheless it is worth keeping in mind as it will adhere to the bottom of the print. Finally for me is the disappointing adhesion of PETG to the BIQU Super Spring Steel. Naturally this can be easily overcome by the use of glue sticks or hair spray. But remains a disappointment nonetheless.
|Affilate links below:||BIQU Super Spring Steel and Magnetic Plate|
|Available from AliExpress US $15.81 – $38.85|
|Available from Amazon UK £37.99-£42.99|
|Available from Amazon USA $32.99-$38.99|
|Available from BIQU US $27.25 – $38.85|
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