A while ago Jordan Miller emailed me to say that PLA can be printed on hot glass. He had tried ABS but it did not stick at 90°C, which was the highest temperature his bed would go so I said I would try it at 140°C.
I found a piece of glass the same size as HydraRaptor's bed that was 5mm thick. It used to be the platform of a kitchen weighing scale. It has nice rounded corners, the only problem was that it had an aluminium boss glued to it. I tried to remove it first with a hammer, then I tried acetone and finally I tried a hot air gun. None of these methods worked so I put it in the oven at gas mark 6 for 10 minutes. It then just lifted off with a pair of tongs.
For a quick test I just taped it down with some Kapton tape. It holds firm as long as you do all four sides.
As you can see ABS does not stick to glass at 140°C.
Next I moved the glass onto my Mendel as it was set up for PLA at the time and I couldn't get PLA to stick to PET tape.
I printed a frame vertex on glass with the bed starting at 120°C for the first layer, dropping down to 45°C for the rest of the build.
That stuck well but came off easily when the bed was cooled. Next I tried a new piece of 4mm glass cut to the size of the bed.
That stuck so well that it took several blows with a hammer to to remove each object. One piece chipped when it hit the wall behind! For some reason the new glass seems to stick much better than the old.
The objects come off perfectly flat and glassy.
I dropped the bed temperature to 100°C, which makes them a little easier to remove, just a sharp tap with a hammer rather than a heavy blow! Any lower than that and I have trouble getting the outlines to stick. Jordan uses only 65°C and reports the objects are easy to remove, so I am not sure what I am doing wrong, different PLA perhaps. If I start with the head lower then the plastic rucks up during the first layer infill.
So glass looks like a good bed material for PLA as it comes completely flat and hopefully should not degrade. Jordan reports that finger prints prevent objects sticking but they can be removed with alcohol. Copper clad PCB material has the advantage that you can flex it to remove objects but doesn't give as good a finish.