Which bed surface should you buy for Creality Ender 3?

Choosing the best 3d printer bed can be difficult especially if you are a beginner and have little to no knowledge about print surfaces. After reading this article not only you will know what is the best print bed in the current market but also you will have more than enough knowledge to make the right decision yourself next time.

There are tons of options available when it comes to build plates, however, the one that stands out the most and can be used for nearly any print on an FDM printer is the PEI spring steel sheet bed. These beds are known for their great adhesion and easy print removal since the beds are flexible and magnetic you can easily remove the print bed once the print completes and flex it to pop off the print and once you attach the bed to the printer it becomes rigid again. There are many more benefits to this bed which I’ll cover in detail in the article along with other popular bed options like glass bed.

Before jumping straight into the comparison, I’ll go through the factors you should keep in mind while purchasing a new 3d printer bed upgrade. After this, we will go through all the bed options so that you can make a wise choice.


In this section, I’ll cover what should you look for when buying a bed surface or build plate for your 3d printer and what are the important factors you should keep in mind while making your decision. 

It is really important to understand your own printing requirements and what you want from the bed to get the most out of it.

Don’t worry I’ll cover all the major and the best 3d printer beds available in the market that you can buy, however, before that let’s look at the important factors to keep in mind while making the decision.


It might seem silly to some people but I promise it won’t when later on I tell you about a Reddit post I saw a couple of years ago. Before you make your purchase after choosing the build plate make sure to cross-check the dimensions of the bed because every 3d printer has a different sized bed which means your long awaited newly bought build plate will be rendered useless.

However, you can resize some of the build surfaces to be compatible with your printer by cutting them and removing the extra surface. To cut and remove extra build surface you will need special tools and if you don’t want to deal with it by yourself or you lack the necessary tools then you can pay a visit to a respective craftsman who can do it for you.

Keep in mind it can be done only for a few build plates and the size must be large, the size of a smaller bed cannot be increased however the vice-versa is not the quite same in the case of a 3d printer bed.

I thought this was common sense to check compatibility when buying new parts for your 3d printer or any device, but in 2020 when I was scrolling through Reddit my mind changed completely when I saw a post where a guy bought a smaller print bed than what was required. Especially as a beginner, you must engrave in your thought process to check compatibility before buying any new part or upgrade for your device to make smart decisions by not making stupid purchases.


The material that you are going to print aka the filament and also the material of the build surface, both matter and affect the print quality and process directly or indirectly. Choosing the right build plate material or type is essential to get a successful print because some filaments don’t stick to some beds which will lead to print failures, while others stick well… to well to the print bed which can cause problems when removing the print and potentially can damage the print and the bed as well.

Just like some filaments require high nozzle temperature to print, some filaments also require high bed temperature for a successful print. The materials used to make the bed decide the most important factors like adhesion strength, maximum bed temperature, flexibility, and durability. It’s very important to consider what you are going to print on the bed because it will dictate directly which bed you need.

The bed surface decides the texture of the bottom layer of your print and other properties also that I mentioned earlier like how well the prints stick to the bed and if the bed will be able to work properly at high temperatures.

Ease of life

Other factors that are not necessary but you can keep in mind are the flexibility of the bed and whether is it removable or not. These factors decide how you handle the prints when you are finished printing, and how are you going to remove the prints afterward from the bed surface.

Do you want a bed that is flexible where you can flex it to remove prints or do you want a rigid bed that you need to cool down or use solutions to remove the prints?

Not the most important factors for some people, however, some people like me will prefer flexing to remove over waiting for the bed to cool down so ask yourself if are you patient enough to wait.

Beds list

In the current market, we have so much to choose from when buying a 3d printer bed, and choosing an item among such a large number of options can be difficult if you don’t have enough knowledge of what’s good or bad. However, this large number of options allows us to make the right decision by choosing the correct bed for our needs and requirements.

I’m going to look and compare all the major and important 3d printer beds or surfaces that you can buy, going through each of these will help you make the right choice.


G10 or garolite is a special type of plastic that shows physical properties like carbon fiber at very inexpensive costs. What makes G10 special is it has great adhesion when the bed is heated and when you cool the bed all the prints release on their own without any effort. If you don’t like to wait you can simply flex the bed and prints will pop, also you can spray isopropyl alcohol near the base of the print which will cool down the area releasing the print from the bed surface.

These surfaces tend to be very rigid and durable which makes the bed resistant to breaking and damage, unlike other surfaces. The rigidity itself depends on the thickness of the surface, thin surfaces tend to be less rigid, however, the thick surfaces are sturdy. Garloites are lightweight compared to glass beds while offering similar rigidity.

This print surface works very well with TPU and PETG one drawback you can say these have is you have to hold them with clips, unlike magnetic print beds and this can reduce the print area. This could be a major drawback especially if you already have print area as one of the constraints.

This surface has gained popularity in the past few years, I myself got introduced to this surface when Maker Muse covered G10 as a printing surface on his YouTube video.


  1. Provides great adhesion for most of the 3d printing materials.
  2. G10/FR4 beds are available at very affordable prices.


  1. Use of clips will reduce print area.

Max bed temprature: 140C

PEI Spring steel smooth/textured

PEI spring steel beds are removable magnetic beds, these beds have two main parts first one is the base which attaches itself to the heatbed and the second one is the print bed with PEI coating on it. There are two variations of the bed itself where either the bed will have a PEI coating or a PEI sheet sticker stuck to it while the bed is mainly made up of spring steel.

The primary use of spring steel makes the bed very flexible and rigid when you attach the steel sheet to the bed it maintains its rigidity and loses it when you remove the sheet to flex the bed, it will bend and as soon as you release the force it will resort to its original state being rigid. Also, spring steels are ferromagnetic in nature which makes them removable, after print, you can remove the bed and flex it to pop out or release the prints.

Spring steel is a great choice for print beds because of its properties like flexibility and magnetism, however, spring steel isn’t that great in terms of adhesion with 3d printing materials. Therefore PEI(Polyetherimide) is used for the surface either as powder coating or sticker which provides great shows great adhesion with 3d printing filaments. You might notice less adhesion after using these beds for a long time without cleaning because of the accumulation of dirt on the print surface, and since it’s not permanent you can easily restore the adhesion by cleaning the bed surface with isopropyl alcohol or acetone. I’ll definitely say the PEI spring steel sheet is the bed for Ender 3 and similar 3d printers.

PEI bed surfaces are available in two types one is smooth and the other one is textured. As you might have guessed the prints printed on the smooth surface will have a smooth bottom layer, while prints produced on the textured bed surface will have texture in the bottom layer. Smooth surfaces are more likely to get damaged as compared to the textured ones. 

Generally, prints don’t stick too much to the textured PEI surface which makes print removal easier. While adjusting the z-offset you will have more freedom if using a textured bed because the bed height is not the same throughout the surface.

PEI beds work very well with PLA, PETG, TPU, and more filaments. However, these features put the bed in the premium category and if you are considering buying a magnetic PEI spring steel sheet then yes the cost will be definitely worth it. This is what I’m currently using and I’ve no plan of changing it since it works perfectly with my prints.

Creality 3D PEI Magnetic Build Plate For Ender 3 Series


  1. These beds are flexible which makes print removal very easy.
  2. Increase in the print area because of magnetism, since clips are not required.
  3. Available in both smooth and textured surface variants.


  1. PEI beds show signs of wear and tear like scratches over time.

Max bed temprature: 110-120C

Glass Beds

Glass beds are also quite popular and a lot of popular 3d printers use them as their default beds like Creality Ender 3 Max and Neo. Glass beds are very strong and durable compared to other options available in the market but the majority of the glass beds have one drawback and that drawback is their poor adhesion. Glass beds generally can withstand high temperatures however one problem you might face with some glass beds is when the bed is heated it may expand so you will have to take this into consideration when tweaking the settings in the software.

Mainly there are two versions of glass beds provided by Creality one is the Borosilicate glass bed which uses boron trioxide and as a result makes the bed resistant to temperature changes. The other popular glass bed by Creality is the Carborundum bed, this bed provides better adhesion compared to the other glass bed options available.

If you want a bed that can allow you to work with frequent temperature changes or at high temperatures borosilicate glass bed will be a great choice, however, you will need to use better adhesion materials on the bed surface like glue sticks and hairspray. The borosilicate glass bed is very smooth so you will have a smooth bottom surface for the print.

On the other hand, if you want to use a glass bed with good adhesion properties then a carborundum glass bed will be a better choice. Also, carborundum beds are more textured compared to smooth borosilicate beds, this will help in print removal from the surface additionally, you will end up having a textured bottom layer on the print, few people prefer textured bottom layer while few don’t.

Since glass beds are very rigid and more tolerant to physical damage you can use metal scrappers to remove the prints from the bed surface, this is something you cannot do for very long on other surfaces without seeing consequent damage to the bed surface. Another drawback of glass beds is that they are heavier than other build plates which will affect the print speed and will lead to reduced print speed.

Creality Carborundum glass bed for ender 3 series


  1. Very rigid and resistant to minor wear and tear.
  2. Scrappers can be used to remove prints from the bed.


  1. Most of the glass beds require extra adhesive items like glue sticks and hairspray.
  2. Glass beds may expand when heated,
  3. Use of clips will result in less print area

PEX spring steel [smooth]

PEX print beds are very similar to the PEI print bed one key difference between them is the use of PEX as the print surface rather than the PEI thermoplastic. The rest of the part of the bed is quite similar, and since the primary metal used for the bed is still spring steel it will be flexible and the bed itself is magnetic you can remove the print bed from the 3d printer and flex it to remove the print.

This print bed surface also provides outstanding adhesion just like the PEI surface. Where PEX really outshines PEI surfaces is bed temperature, while PEI can handle 100-120 C PEX can handle 140-150 C. If you want to print polycarbonate, abs, asa, HIPS, and other materials that require high bed temperature then you can invest in PEX spring steel beds because they can handle high temperatures very well along with superb adhesion and they also last quite long.


  1. All pros of PEI sheets.
  2. Gives consistent results with high temperatures as well.


  1. These beds are not very cost-friendly.

Max bed temprature: 150C

Buildtak Flexplate

Buildtak’s flexplate beds come in 3 parts one is the magnetic mounting base, the second is the spring steel sheet and the third is the print surface itself. Overall the bed is quite similar to WhamBam’s bed except for the print surface which is textured, unlike the whambam’s print surface which is smooth. You can also work with high temperatures on the BuildTak Flexplate.

The flexplate surface is not very great in terms of damage resistance, you can easily damage the bed surface if you are not careful or you are using metal scrapers to remove the print. You must be careful when setting the z-offset because having the wrong value may lead the print model to fuse with the bed surface which will ruin both the print and the bed itself. 

Additionally, if the nozzle is too close to the bed then there is a risk of damage to the print surface. A few people also reported bubbles showing up on the print bed after a few weeks of printing. Honestly based on the reviews I’ve seen I would not recommend you to get this bed.


  1. Work well with high temperatures.
  2. The magnetic bed makes it easier to handle print and results in more print area.


  1. Susceptible to damage so needs extra care when printing.

Max bed temprature: 110-120C

My Suggestion?

Ultimately if I’ve to use a print bed for the rest of my life or a bed that I would truly recommend you to get if you are looking for an upgrade then it will be the PEI spring steel bed. Considering its great adhesion with the print models along with easy removal and other physical properties like strength and magnetism makes this the best upgrade option.

Another solid option could be the Carborundum glass bed if you want a bed in which you don’t even have to detach the bed to remove the print from the surface, rather you simply pluck the printed model once the bed cools down. Since it’s a glass bed it’s going to be more rigid compared to the other flexible bed options. What makes carborundum glass beds best among other glass beds is its adhesion, while most of the other glass print beds require extra adhesion like gluestick, tapes, or hairspray carborundum beds have sufficient self adhesion to keep the print stuck during the printing process.

Now you know which are the best options available, however, if you are still confused should I go with the glass bed or the PEI sheet? Then I will quickly compare them both side by side in a table which will make it easier for you to make the right decision.

PEI Magnetic bed vs Carborundum Glass bed

ParametersPEI Magnetic bedCarborundum Glass bed
AdhesionBetter adhesion with more consistent resultsGreat adhesion, however, is not on par with PEI
Print RemovalRemove and flex or bend the sheet to remove the printsWait for the bed to cool down then pluck them, if stuck use isopropyl alcohol.
MagneticClips are not required, so the additional print area can be utilizedUse of clips is necessary, which will take away a small amount of print area
Print SpeedNo effect on print speedNegatively affects print speed, thus reducing it
SurfaceAvailable in both smooth and textured variantsCarborundum glass beds are available as textured only.
MaintenanceRegular cleaning is required for consistent adhesionSame with these beds, regular cleaning is required

Purchase links:

  1. Creality 235×235 PEI Sheet on Amazon
  2. Creality Carborundum bed on Amazon


The best print bed depends on your particular use case and your requirements, however, my recommendation will be best for general 3d printing purposes which majority of the people do.

With this article, I’ve given you detailed information about each print bed and my personal opinions and experiences which must have helped you to choose the right build plate for you. While choosing a print bed keep two main things in mind first is adhesion and second is the print removal process along with your preferences that you have for a print bed. Do not neglect their durability because it will determine how long until you are going to invest again.

If you still have any doubts or questions you can ask them below in the comment box.

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