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  1. #51
    3D Printer Noob
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Thanks for the message. You have a straight forward approach. That is always good. I think there are always at least two good ways to solve something and often more. Your message was timely as I just completed one more platform. Twelve more to go. LoL I think I will wait on that. This time I used 1/16 aluminum for the bottom plate thereby avoiding re-purposing another original cube build platform. Originally I was worried about the rigidity but the 1/16" seems fine and it lowers the weight. I do not use the thermistor in the silicone heater and changed how I mount the the added on thermistor. The new thermistor is wrapped with copper foil and tucked between the glass and aluminum heat spreader. I took the chance to reevaluate this approach. I often print parts contacting the full area of the build surface so I need plenty of heat. After about 100 spools of abs I am addicted to printing directly on glass. The glass establishes a flat surface since the 100'c aluminum heat spreader will warp. Sometimes I will give just a light dusting of hairspray once in a while as I often do not use sidewalks. The heater runs at 180w I checked if the heat insulation was needed and while it runs without it is cooler to reflect the heat back up with the aluminum foil and slow the conduction of heat down. The small fans ensure heat is not conducted into the y-axis slide through the three point leveling arms. So I retained the insulator but just removed enough of the foam to seat the leveling arms without cutting through the top aluminum foil. The bottom plate sits 0.5mm above the z-axis mount on the left and 1mm above the y-axis belt pulleys. That places the top surface of the bottom plat 5mm below the the three leveling arms. I use four 18mm stainless steel corner spacers. About 0.5mm is trimmed off to flatten the top and bottom of the spacers. I think I could go to 16mm spacers and will try this on the next fabrication. The 18mm spacers puts the top of the glass that I print on about 2mm above the stock build platform. One benefit is that with he fixed platform and the parts sliding off the glass, it is rarely necessary to re-level.


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    The next project is to make a nichrome wire heater. I took another look at the silicone heater that burned out. I dissected some of the wires out. Oh that was interesting. It was ebay listed as having nichrome wire. The wire is actually coiled copper. That is not so good. The heated copper will begin to deteriorate with the heat. I confirmed the copper by tinning it and check with a magnet to see if the inner core was steel. If I can make my own I will have more control of the design and be able to customize the heater pattern for more uniform distribution.

    After some further thought on the coiled wire, I think it is legitimate. It is most likely nickel plated copper wire. Plating would prevent the deterioration with heat. The coiling would allow the resistance to be adjusted for a path length and increase the surface area. Nichrome wire has a higher resistance and around 12 feet would need to have a large diameter of around 0.1inch. A little inconvenient.

    Last edited by Kame808; 02-04-2020 at 07:59 PM.

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  3. #52
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Post Thanks / Like
    Nice work Something in a ceramic, say an alumina plate, could be used as a heater with ceramic glue to hold the wire in place. Heck, shoot the lot and make it a sandwich. Just think out the connection and sensor carefully before committing.



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