Kapton Installation

Kapton tape is the orange tape, made out of a polyimide film with a silicon adhesive, used in various places on your Solidoodle. One the most most useful properties of Kapton is its heat resistance. Kapton tape, however, can be rather fragile and may tear easily.

On the Bed

A particularly well-stuck print may be hard to remove, even with the recommended paint scraper, and you may end up scratching the Kapton tape or tearing a hole in it. If you do tear the Kapton tape, never fear! Small scratches and tears may not be a problem, but if the hole is especially large or there is a piece of unstuck Kapton that may stick up into the print, there are several possible fixes.

The easiest and most effective method is to simply replace the Kapton sheet. First power off both heaters on your printer, as it is possible to burn yourself on both the heated bed and the heated extruder. Lower the bed until you are able to easily access the entire bed. The bed should be cleaned with acetone or some other cleaner to ensure a smooth, clean surface. Carefully apply the replacement Kapton square to the build platform, making sure to avoid wrinkles and bubbles at all costs.

A second option would be to cut some Kapton tape to repair the scratches in the original. While this may save some Kapton, we do not recommend it for all users, because it produces an uneven build surface with seams. The new Kapton should melt onto the old Kapton and work reasonably well. Solidoodle sells 1/4" Kapton rolls for this purpose in our online store. Again, all heaters should be powered off to prevent burns.

On the Extruder

Kapton tape is also used to tape the thermistor to the hot end. Other tapes are not well suited to this purpose, as they will not be able to withstand the heat. This piece of tape is especially important, as it ensures a more accurate read of the hot end temperature. If the thermistor falls off, the printer may misread the temperature and continue to heat the hot end until it melts the PEEK barrel. Thus it is important to make sure the thermistor is properly secured with Kapton tape.

If the tape begins to fall off, turn off all heaters (especially the heater for the extruder!) before proceeding. The 1/4" Kapton roll sold in our online store is the perfect size for this. Simply cut off a length of tape, and resecure the thermistor onto the hot end. If you have a wider roll of Kapton, such as the ones used on the build platform, you can stick the Kapton onto a piece of clean glass and use an exacto blade to cut the tape down to a quarter inch. Then apply as before.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License