Reveiw: Wham Bam + PEX Magnetic Steel Plate

-goofy instructions
-more than worth it.

As far as upgrades go, this one is spendy. $170CA for my Ender3 pro max.
As expected with this industry, the documentation and instructions are somewhere between non-existant and counter-productive.
But Oh My. What a game changing bit of tech.

What is it?

Five llayers:
-3m adhesive and paper
-Poly Magnetic mat
-Steel plate
-PEX coating.

Why would I buy it?

No glue, no tape, no spray.
Cleaning is reduced to wiping the residue of additives to your filament every once in awhile.
Like other magnetic, or steel spring plates, you can, if you choose, remove the finished print with the plate attached and gently bend it across the x and y axis to release the print, but most of the time, this is not necessary. *

What is PEX?

Polyethylene chains laid down in a cross-hatch pattern.
The cross-hatching gives the material ‘memory’, meaning it strives to return to it’s original configuration.
This is the stuff delivering water to your taps in homes built this century. It is solvent resistant, but don’t push your luck; stick with isopropyl alcohol.

What’s up with the anxiety-inducing instructions?

Two things bothered me:
-Should we attach our new plate to the Aluminum base or the glass (or whatever) bed. Which one?
From a practical standpoint, we would prefer the aluminum base. Less material to heat = faster action. Also, less reliance on the skeevy clamps they send us.
So, Check both the plate and the aluminum with a trusted flat-edge and back-light and go with the flattest. Longer heating times are shorter than failed prints.
-Installation of the sticky magnetic pad.
This is not rocket science, but two factors are critical.
You need a clean, flat base.
Make sure the edges and screw holes of your base are smooth and nothing is on the top. Use a metal file if you must.

…and finally…

No air pockets between the magnetic pad and your base.

This is not hard, but it is one of those things you have to do right, the first time.
The instructions are correct in that you expose enough of the sticky stuff to get started across the back.
Get that lined up perfectly while there is minimal sticky stuff in play.
Then, pull all of the backing off.
Ready a finger in the middle and lower the pad until you can run that finger from back to front, and then let go of everything.
Now you have a sealed edge along the back, and one up the middle.
Starting from the middle back, apply pressure out and forward on each side, imagining air pockets and their escape routes.

Steel wool?

Terrible advice.
Try a print without any abrasions.
You will see how much better this surface is.
I wouldn’t trust my own mother to buy the steel wool we need, and I wouldn’t trust baby Jesus to do what they want us to do with it.
Ignore this completely.
The goal is to scratch up the PEX surface just a little.
Give it what painters call ‘teeth’.
These are microscopic abrasions big enough to give our extrusions something to grip, but small enough so you can’t see them on the finished product. A tricky balance.
Do yourself a favour and use the green side of a Dollar Store sponge, very very lightly, in little circles.
You will see the surface get duller.
My advice is to err on the side less scratches. As you print, you will be cleaning the PEX with the same sponge, and can always add more scratches.

Bottom line.

If this is your first rodeo, and you can afford it, buy this, but get someone experienced to set it up.
It has a plastic surface you can easily destroy with the wrong settings.

If this is your second rodeo, buy this because you are tired of glue, tape, sprays, cleaning and repeating.
If your bed is level and the right temp, the prints simply don’t release until you want them to.
You will save money, time, and waste in the long run, not to mention the frustration.

If I was the Boss , these would be mandatory.

*Every time you lift the plate, you could get goobies in there, so be careful.

Why isn’t there a gigantic LIKE button on this?


You have one?

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What a great review.

It is a pricy upgrade, but defidently a great quality of life one to make.

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They are fantastic. The Prusa came with it, obviously nor wam bam but same thing. A few things I learned with it. Sometimes you need to wash it with detergent and hot water. Methylhydrate is a good ‘stronger cleaner’ ONLY when cool!

They do wear out. I have one that the surface no longer works and adhesion is an issue. This is where 0000 steel wool comes in. Clean it with Acetone and chase with alcohol. LIGHT brushing steel wool over both sides and clean again detergent and water and IPA.

Be careful with Petg it sticks too well after!


Just to be a contrarian, I don’t currently understand using a thing that you remove and bend as a part that is supposed to stay flat and not move.

Now before you all come at me with torches, I’m blissfully ignorant about these flex plates and haven’t used one. I know they are widely loved and are supposed to work well. I love throwing money at my printer for upgrades as much as the next dork but in this case my glass bed has no adhesion problems and parts almost fall off of it when it cools. I do use Magigoo which I apply like once a month and it isn’t messy in the slightest. No problems with PLA, Petg, TPU, TPE. I haven’t tried nylon, PC, or anything else more “exotic” though.

I have contemplated trying a Wham Bam system on many occasions but so far I haven’t found a compelling reason to make the switch. I could maybe see using it on my resin printer so I don’t have to knife the parts off the build plate.

For the people who have made the switch, what was the problem you were having or feature you needed that convinced you to change?
Don’t take this as a challenge to convince me, I’m entirely just curious about other people’s experience.

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In my case, I was using glue on a glass bed, on the advice of a physician, to either hold the parts down (PLA), or help release them (PETG).
Never had a problem with the PLA, but I found myself hacking away at the PETG like a lunatic to get them off the bed. I damaged the parts, I cut myself, I’m amazed I didn’t shatter the glass.
Plus, I was going through paper towel and rubbing alcohol at an alarming rate.
My first printer had a spring plate, with none of these issues, so I decided to take the plunge.
But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There are lots of fun ways to blow 170 smackaroons.

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It’s crazy how different of an experience people can have using the same product.
Before I started using Magigoo I had a few prints that were stuck pretty firmly but with a few squirts of 50/50 water and isopropyl they always released after a few minutes.

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Blair I get what you are saying. I have had my prusa for quite a while now. Before that I had a monoprice and before that a tiko. The tiko has a flex bed. It worked well the only part that actually did work well. The monoprice had a daft aluminum plate witha plastic stuff on it. Once I had it leveled well perhaps a bit too much squich I wrecked it trying to remove a print. The prusa i have had everything stick well to the bed and almost no issues removing anything. I clean it here and there with alcohol and a few times a year wash it with detergent. It is 100% reliable and works perfectly.

No goop needed.

My sidewinder has been no end of issues. I stupidly bought it thinking I can get it tuned no problem. LOL I doubled the price spend far far too many hours on it and the biggest issue is the bed still. I did not fit a flex plate. Because the problem child is gone as soon as the Prusa XL arrives.

I have got too much goop on the bed and made a mess, too little and had a spaghetti monster visit. I have scratched the surface trying to get prints off (leaving marks on off the subsequent prints.) Cut my finger removing prints, rammed a filament strand under my finger nail. Had long prints lost because the filament ran out and bed cooled releasing it. I cannot clean the bed with soap and water.

What type of bed is on that Sidewinder that has caused you so much headache?
What type of goop were you using on it?

I was very resistant to the idea of using goo on my bed but I have to say that Magigoo has been pretty good to me. It is in a bingo dabber so it is easy to apply a thin amount, it cooks in when you heat the bed and doesn’t have clumpy gross bits unless you put on way too much. It isn’t sticky to touch and I don’t clean my bed between prints. If I’m doing TPU which rips the Magigoo off of the bed I will touch it up and I only do a full clean if my touch ups start causing weird buildup.

I don’t constantly have things on the printer though since I’m only printing things as I design them so I could see being able to swap out build plates being advantages if I was doing more things back to back or to have different types for different materials that might not stick well to my glass.

Now that I have a second printer going I might experiment with a flex bed on one. Might as well try it to figure out what I have been missing.

Its a creality printed glass bed. Garbage. The printed stuff lifts off and discolors prints. Oh and not flat too boot, the first one was out just over 1mm edge to center, the second better not awesome, the third is mostly ok.

Uhu, elmers, pritt, and Magigoo original. Mostly I find the Uhu the best for the X1 it is a miserable printer so I avoid using the bloody thing.

I resent the money and time it cost. At the end of the day it is more expensive than the Prusa XL will be. What a waste of time and money. I will never again buy a printer that has tons of cloned junk. Sorry I fall into ranting easily, It cost far more in parts to fix it out of the box than it cost. Stupid me voided the warranty opening the case and that was that. The FAKE electrical certification thing should have been the first clue.

At the end of the day, we want prints to crack off the bed with nary a complaint as the printer executes the last 1%.
No sprays, no waiting, no wondering what esoteric parameters haven’t been met.
Just wiggle wiggle off.
Pick off the wipe and skirt, and NEXT!

Printing shouldn’t be hard, and this bed gets us half way there.
Seriously, I did the CHEP thing and stopped the print early because the perfection was too much for my jaded soul.

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@Ted lol that is hilarious. If you really want to feed a jaded soul try my X1 the bed sometimes pops up a 1mm or so so the center is way too close and the sides are too far. Awesome.

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