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The Best Way to Stick 3D Prints to the Print Bed

Magigoo on a LulzBot
Magigoo on a LulzBot (Image credit: Windows Central/ James Bricknell)

The Magigoo Pen is the very best adhesive for your glass print bed when using ABS, PLA, or PetG. It holds your print firm to the bed then releases it easily when cooled for a hassle-free experience.

Magigoo Pen

No mess, no fuss, just secure printing

Who should buy this

The Magigoo Pen is perfect for anyone working with the standard filaments we all use. PLA, ABS, PetG, and even TPU will stick far better with Magigoo on glass than they do with just hairspray or even Elmers glue. Magigoo even works well on PEI, though it is specifically designed for glass. The only surfaces it definitely doesn't work on is blue tape and Kapton tape so avoid those if you can.

What makes it so special?

I've been using Magigoo for about two months now and I cannot imagine going back to just hairspray or any other build plate adhesive. Every time I use it, the print holds to the bed perfectly. Then, when the print is finished and the bed is cold the model just pops off with a twist — I haven't used a palette knife in weeks — it really is that simple.

I cannot imagine going back to any other build plate adhesive

The applicator itself is extremely helpful. It makes sure you apply just what you need where you need it. No more spraying hairspray over your smooth rods trying to get it evenly on the bed. Just spread the Magigoo one way then the other and it's done. The bottle says it can do over 100 applications but I only apply it to the exact place the print will be, not all over the bed, so it has lasted way over 100 prints.

And the final icing on the cake? It washes off your build plate and your print with just warm water. No need for chemicals to remove the residue, it just comes off ready for another coat. So simple.

Alternatives to the Magigoo Pen

Magigoo is pretty unique in that it is a product specifically designed to hold 3D prints to a build plate. There are alternatives, however, that have been used for years and can help your prints stick to the build plate.

Elmers washable glue stick

Elmers washable glue is great for build plates with builders tape and glass.

Reasons to buy

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Securely holds prints to glass bed
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Easily releases after cooling
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Over 100 applications per bottle
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Works great with PLA, ABS, and PetG

Reasons to avoid

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Doesn't work on builders tape
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Won't work on Nylon

When you have an older build plate that you use builders tape on or even when you're using glass, Elmers will help you hold your print down. Make sure you use a thin layer though — too deep and you can cause a blockage in your nozzle.

Aquanet Hairspray

Aquanet is cheap, strong and waterbased making it an excellent bed adhesive.

When using hairspray you need to make sure you are spraying the build plate only, not the bearings or smooth rods. As long as you follow that simple advice hairspray works very well on a glass bed to hold your print. Make sure you use it sparingly, however, too much and it will leave unsightly marks on your prints.

Bottom line

When it comes to choices for build plate adhesives the Magigoo Pen always comes out on top. It's easy applicator and targeted approach make it perfect for the job at hand, in fact, it's the only choice specifically made to do the job.

James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.