My Ender 3 came with a glass bed and spring clips as well as the more usual composite bed. I like the glass bed and generally get (what I regard as) good results from it. I’ve hardly ever used the composite bed. But the thing I really hate with the Ender 3 is attaching the glass bed with spring clips to hold the bed in place.
The fact that they take up some bed space is rarely a problem. It’s just … well …. they look really naff. But worse than naffness is the fact that they can foul the print head if it gets too close.
It’s as if that after they put the Ender 3 into production, somebody realised that they hadn’t figured out a way of attaching the glass bed. They urgently needed to fix the problem. But all they had to work with was the contents of the stationery cupboard
To summarise: I hate the spring clips.
So what is to be done?
I know a lot of people use sticky tape. But that doesn’t exactly impress me either. So I thought I’d look for another solution. And there is one. A simple solution at that. But first (of course) I had to try and be clever. (I never learn)
My initial thought was to build a set of interlocking fences with corner wedges that would hold the glass bed in place. I designed up a set and they seem to work but there are multiple problems.
1. The nozzle fouled on the left hand corner when I auto-homed.
2. Getting any form of strip in around the bed heater element at the back was fraught. (to say the least)
I spent several hours trying to figure out way of using these fences. I myopically locked in on fences as the only solution.
Then my wife brought me a cup of tea. I explained what a bad time I was having. She went away and came back one minute later holding one of these. Its a plastic spine for an A4 document.
I cut out two 75mm sections and then trimmed down one of them so the resulting “clamp” pushed onto the bed right up to the back of the spine. I didn’t do the other one I just left it as-is.
I’ve printed two Avocado seed holders so far without mishap (g-code to be put up soon on thingiverse). Here’s in in action.
It seems a good, cheap and effective solution. Now the print head won’t risk fouling when printing near the edge like it did when I was using spring clips. Of course there is also the ability to use longer lengths than 75mm. 75mm was an arbitrary length I chose simply because it sounded about right. But the full spines are longer than the bed is wide. You could cut it so that it clipped in the whole side of the bed.
If you want to try it and don’t have a spare spine you can get some cheap ones on Amazon on This Link