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Heated aluminum bed for MakerBot

[Keith] built this aluminum-plate heated build stage for his MakerBot 3D printer. We just saw a different MakerBot heated build stage yesterday that relied on glass as the printing surface. Keith’s design is similar to the aluminum RepRap bed but scaled down for the MakerBot. He had a piece of aluminum machined the to correct dimensions, and perfectly flat to use as the printing surface. The yellow surface is caused by Kapton tape applied to the top of the plate. This heat-resistant covering is perfect to print on, resulting in glossy smooth surfaces that are easy to remove once the printed part has cooled. He’s working on improving his mounting technique to achieve prefect level so that he can print without a raft.

[Keith's] writeup is phenomenal. He’s sharing knowledge in a way that is useful even if you’re not building the exact same kind of project. Follow his lead with your own write-ups, then let us know once you’ve posted them.

[Thanks Marty]

Comments

  1. andrew says:

    Nice build and excellent write-up.

  2. Laminar says:

    prefect

  3. andrew says:

    It seems like the heated plate is just a partial solution because as you add additional layers, the layers furthers from the plate and the extruder (the center layers) will cool faster than the layers closer to the plate and extruder (the bottom and top layers). So, you might still get warping with tall objects. I wonder if there’s a fluid like (oil or something) that won’t interfere with the extrusion process.

    If so, you could do the extrusion while submerged in that liquid while it was heated to the same temperature as the plate until the extrusion process is over.

  4. silic0re says:

    @andrew: you’re definitely right, and while there is often a good amount of heat conduction up the layers, it’s still not ideal and you’ll loose some heat to the environment. commercial machines often use heated build chambers, so the entire part cools at about the same rate.

  5. zerth says:

    For the temperature used, I’d just stick it in a sauna.

  6. jproach says:

    He mentions sealing the chamber with plexi at the end, to keep the heat in.

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