I’ve been using a 1/16″ aluminum build surface on my Thing-O-Matic for weeks, with really good results. Now you can buy an aluminum platform from Makerbot, and cover it with wide Kapton tape for the ultimate build surface. I’ve been using this combination on my Cupcake CNC for a while, and it is great: parts adhere really well and there is no warping. (Top tip: wipe the platform with acetone before printing for even better adhesion.)
However, this poses a challenge: sometimes parts stick to the platform so well that it can take a real effort, and a lot of force, to get them off. On the Cupcake, I would just detach the build platform and lever the piece loose. However, on the Thing-O-Matic, the platform is fixed, and you end up applying a lot of force to the X&Y platform as you try to release the piece.
One solution is to just double up the aluminum plate, and hold it on with bulldog clips, as described here. However, I went for a quicker solution in the short term.
Wing nut holding heated build platform for easy removal
I just put M3 wing nuts on the bolts holding the platform (you only really need 4, one on each corner, not 6). When I’m done printing, I can just detach the HBP connector (power off first!) and quickly unscrew the wing nuts. This allows for easy access to the printed piece from all sides, plus I can apply quite a bit of force without affecting the structure of the Thing-O-Matic.
At some point, I’d love to see a quick release mechanism for the Thing-O-Matic platform, like this one, but for now this is really saving me a lot of time and effort.