In a word: "no". :) There are a number of companies selling kits which say “3M 300-LSE” on them, but 300-LSE is not the name of a specific 3M product – it is actually the name of an entire line of different 3M products. The adhesive we use was selected after careful in-house testing, followed by a meeting with 3M engineers, followed by more testing. We typically see our customers’ return rates for screen lifting drop to 0 after switching to our adhesive.
We make our kits in the U.S.A. More specifically, we make them in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 3M adhesive we use is also manufactured right here in Minnesota - less than 50 miles away from us, in fact. It gets pretty frigid in February, but Minneapolis has a vibrant arts and technology scene, so we kinda like it here.
Our adhesive is significantly thicker than original/black/OEM iPad adhesive. This helps overcome the subtle bends and irregularities that appear in an iPad’s frame when it gets dropped. Our kits also cover much more surface area than the original design, which further strengthens the bond.
Our adhesive is significantly thicker than Red Tape, which helps provide a cushion to overcome specks of debris or irregularities in the device's frame. The adhesive we use also provides a stronger overall bond for a given surface area.
In real-world terms: if the adhesive was much stickier, it would become impractical to work with. We have customers report that our adhesive kits drastically reduce, and in some cases completely eliminate, the number of repairs that are returned with lifting problems.
The 3M adhesive product that we cut our kits from is close to 7 mils (.007″, or .1778mm) thick. For comparison, the original adhesive, and most other adhesive kits, seem to be around 4.5 mils (.0045" or .1143mm) thick. The extra thickness provides a much better cushion for debris or irregularities in the frame, without affecting the appearance or usability of the device. We experimented with a number of different thicknesses before determining that this one was optimal.
If the device is being repaired for the first time, a little bit of residual factory adhesive shouldn't be a problem. You'll want to make sure there aren't any big "globs" of leftover adhesive which would create bumps, however.
Yes, we'd recommend removing any preinstalled adhesive from the screen, for two reasons. First, the combination of both adhesives might be too thick for the device to look or function correctly. Second the resulting bond would only be as strong as the weaker of the two adhesives, which would almost definitely be the preinstalled stuff on the screen - you'd be paying for the good stuff, but only getting the strength of the cheap stuff.
Be careful of using anything metal to remove the old adhesive, as the paint on the back of the glass often scratches easily. If this happens, it can be passably touched-up with Wite-Out or a Sharpie, depending on the color. One of our customers recommends Edding "paint marker pens" (which come in black and white) for this purpose.
Many repair shops use cotton swabs (also known as Q-tips or cotton buds) dipped in acetone for this purpose. Acetone is commonly sold as nail polish remover or paint thinner.
When using this method, be careful not to apply too much acetone to the plastic parts, or they may warp or discolor slightly. As a rule of thumb, when you wipe the cotton bud along any plastic parts, you'd want the acetone residue to evaporate almost immediately. If you're using so much that it leaves a puddle behind for a second or two, the plastic may react to it. You may want to experiment with daubing the cotton swab on a piece of tissue paper a certain number of times after dipping it, as a way to control the amount of acetone you are working with.
The adhesive we use creates a very strong bond without any primer. Just ensure that the surface is free of debris (such as glass shards).
If you'd like to experiment with a primer for extra-tricky repairs (such as severely bent frames) 3M AP111 would probably be a good place to start. Please let us know if you pick up any tips or tricks that you'd like us to share with others. :)
Heat is not necessary, but it could be useful in special cases.
Heat would soften the adhesive, which could make it easier to overcome certain irregularities in the frame, but the bond would be weaker until the adhesive had cooled back down, so you'd probably want to clamp the repair for a while (which isn't normally needed). The limiting factor, in terms of maximum temperature if you decide to experiment with this, would be the heat tolerances of the device - with the battery probably being the most sensitive component.
No clamping is needed for normal repairs, although is cases of extremely bent frames it could be useful. The adhesive bond will continue to build strength for up to 72 hours, with the first 4 hours being especially significant.
In general, orders of less than 100 kits are shipped within one business day, and such orders often ship same-day. Orders of a few hundred kits typically ship within two business days, but also sometimes ship same-day. Larger orders (1000+ kits) from new customers may sometimes be subject to manufacturing delays.
We always try to get our kits where they need to be, as quickly as we can, so please let us know if you have a particular need or concern.