A friend of mine asked the following on the now defunct Makers StackExchange.

Question

I am about to assemble a Printrbot LC with heated bed and get started with 3D printing. I will be printing using PLA. Should I cover the print bed with glass or Kapton tape before I try printing for the first time or is that only necessary if I have trouble with the print sticking to the bed? Is there any chance of damaging the bed if I don’t cover it with something to begin with?

My Answer

While, I have never printed directly to the a heated print bed, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. I have always had a layer of glass on top of the heated print bed, and (until recently) had some sort of tape on top of that. When I was printing to tape, it was always wearing, chipping and eventually tearing. I personally wouldn’t want that sort of wear and tear happening to my heated build PCB. So I would at the very least put some tape (Kapton, or blue painters tape) down first. However, adding a layer of glass provides is even better, as it provides a great flat surface and also helps to evenly spread the heat from the build platform over the whole area.