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Aluminum Bed Upgrade

Aluminum Bed Upgrade
October 05, 2016 02:06AM
This post is going to talk a bit about my upgrade to an aluminum bed, and some of the trials and tribulations I had using acrylic.

I’m not sure why, but many 3D printer kits come with acrylic beds. I’m sure it’s fine if you’re not working with a heated bed, but that’s usually not the case nowadays. Even if the bed isn’t getting to the acrylics glass-transition temp, it’s getting close enough to cause warping. It doesn’t help that these cheap kits often use very cheap and poorly made acrylic that has low thermal properties, and is exaggerated when the carriage is under any kind of stress, like with a heavy glass or aluminum top. I was unlucky enough to work with a kit that had a giant slab of aluminum on top (as a print surface), and its mass combined with the heat from the PCB warped the acrylic to an unusable point. It got so bad that the bed could no longer be leveled. My solution to this problem was to put the acrylic in the oven between two very flat objects. Oddly enough, this worked and I ended up doing it every month or so. I would have upgraded sooner, but my carriage uses those pillow block bearings instead of the usual three-point zip tied LM8UU setup seen on just about every Prusa-i3. The pillow block setup is great because it keeps everything really square, and it’s a more stable four point setup, but it is not easy to find replacements for. After looking long and hard I eventually came across an aluminum replacement from Rep-rap Champion for about $20. It arrived quickly, and has been working like a charm. It’s really well machined, and sturdy as a rock. There’s no way this will be warping in this printer’s lifetime, and I don’t have to feel bad every time I have the heated bed on for an extended period of time. It’s a bit heavier, and it increases the carriage’s inertia contribution by a factor of two, but given the rest of the setup, that’s pretty insignificant. What’s nice about this particular aluminum plate, is that it is pretty universal; it supports just about every bearing attachment method. If I wanted to use the classic Prusa-i3 three-point method I could, or if I wanted to use pillow block bearings I could do that. I upgraded the bed at the same time I upgraded to an all metal hotend, so my printer is feeling like a brand new machine at this point. If anyone wants to check out the aluminum bed, here is a link to RepRap Champion’s site.
Here are some photos
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They also have bed extensions, and I may try that in the future. It’d be nice to shed the shackles of of the Prusa-i3’s 8”x8” limit.
Re: Aluminum Bed Upgrade
February 05, 2018 07:16PM
I think they went out of business as I am getting nothing but "Sorry, this shop is currently unavailable." when I try to go directly to them or through any shop links.


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I await Skynet and my last vision will be of a RepRap self replicating the robots that is destroying the human race.
Re: Aluminum Bed Upgrade
February 05, 2018 11:19PM
It's a two years old post !
Note the guy was right and is still right today !
Why acrylic ? Simply because the "designers" of these crap machines learned mechanic while visiting Shenzhen Ikea factory. The choice was MDF or acrylic. Acrylic is more flashy, so.
People buying these are impressed by the claimed performances, nice pictures, , cheap cost and are familiar with Ikea furniture one can assemble with allen keys and screwdrivers.
An ideal marketing scenario.

Too bad, for the people trying to do better.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2018 11:22PM by MKSA.

"A comical prototype doesn't mean a dumb idea is possible" (Thunderf00t)
Re: Aluminum Bed Upgrade
February 06, 2018 01:41AM
Quote
MKSA
It's a two years old post !
Note the guy was right and is still right today !
Why acrylic ? Simply because the "designers" of these crap machines learned mechanic while visiting Shenzhen Ikea factory. The choice was MDF or acrylic. Acrylic is more flashy, so.
People buying these are impressed by the claimed performances, nice pictures, , cheap cost and are familiar with Ikea furniture one can assemble with allen keys and screwdrivers.
An ideal marketing scenario.

Too bad, for the people trying to do better.
Of course it is a 2 year old post and I just did business with the company last year so I was letting people know they closed up the shop.


_______
I await Skynet and my last vision will be of a RepRap self replicating the robots that is destroying the human race.
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