Blue tape or Kapton? Why not both?

In the 3D printing community, there is endless debate about the best bed surface. In any case, blue (painter’s) tape and Kapton (polyimide) tape are two top contenders for many materials.

In my laziness, I have discovered that the best bed surface is, indeed, both.

How it works is quite simple: you put the blue tape on the bed, then you put the Kap tape over it. The painter’s tape provides a better surface to apply the Kapton to than the raw bed. It is far less prone to wrinkling or bubbling during application this way.

I developed this technique by accident when I wanted to change the surface from blue tape to Kapton. I was too lazy to peel the blue off first, and thereby inadvertently discovered this hack.

Of course, since Kapton is the actual surface, this technique is suitable for any materials which already like to be printed on it. I print in TPU, PLA, and PETG, and have found that it works great for them all.

The Kap tape does transfer a bit of the texture from the layer underneath, however you still get the overall shiny surface finish on the bottom that Kap alone normally provides.

It is fairly easy to remove the Kapton, then the blue tape can be reused with a new Kap surface put over it again. I prefer to apply the Kap tape in the opposite direction to the blue, in order to make it easier to remove without taking the blue with it.