Do aluminium PCB heatbeds suffer from hotspots as much as standard PCB heatbeds, or is the presence of hot spots smoothed over by the fact that the PCB "substrate" is aluminium, and so its thermal conductivity helps spread the heat more evenly?
Or, conversely, could the effect of the hotspots be magnified, and actually made worse?
Which has fewer hotspots, MK2A, MK2B, or MK3? (I'm not sure if this should be a separate question)
I would have also asked whether aluminium PCB heatbeds are worth the additional cost, over standard PCB heatbeds, but for the slightly less common dimensions of 200 mm x 300 mm, the costs, of an aluminium PCB heat bed, are roughly the same as standard PCB.
Some thermal imaging pictures, comparing standard PCBs with aluminium PCBs, would be appreciated.
I am keen to buy an aluminium PCB heatbed for my P3Steel v.4 printer, which has a larger build area of 200 mm x 300 mm. So, after some searching, I found this MK2A: MK2A 300x200mm Aluminum Heated Bed Hot Bed for RepRap 3D Printer 12V + Wiring + NTC 3950 Thermistor - Upgrade you Prusa i3 for LARGE Printsize, or this cheaper MK3, Anycubic Dual Power MK3 Heatbed 300*200*3mm Aluminum Heat Bed 12V/24V Perfect for Prusa i3 3D Printer.
Note: this is not a shopping question, I am merely providing a background to my questions.
While the RepRap wiki is full of information, the information can be rather piecemeal and incomplete. Cases in point being the two pages on heatbeds:
As stated in the former link, on the section on Metal print beds, PCB based heatbeds can suffer from hotspots, and that is why, apparently, it is sometimes preferrable to use a subsequent aluminium build/print bed on top of that, en lieu of glass plate, in order to even out the hotspots, as the aluminium's greater thermal conductivity helps smooth out the hotspots, by distributing the heat more efficiently than a glass plate can. However, it doesn't describe the heating effect of just a single aluminium PCB heatbed.
The section, in the latter link, on Aluminium heatbeds, where the heating circuit is printed directly onto the aluminium, rather than a standard PCB (on a non-conductive substrate), makes mention that the print can be made directly on to the aluminium, without the need of an additional glass plate, resulting in a lighter print plate, and hence faster print speed. However, yet again, it is not particularly clear, or explicit, when it comes to heat distribution.
have subsequently found a supplier of 3 mm thick aluminium 200 mm x 300 mm Y axis plates, so availability is no longer an issue, and the slightly higher cost is not really an issue for me. However... concentrating more of the comparison of aluminium and MDF in this post, rather than just steel versus aluminium. Also, my question deals with the Y axis heatbed support, rather than the heatbed itself. ... of the steel plate. Therefore I would like to substitute the steel plate for another material. I had considered aluminium, as recommended by the RepRap wiki - P3Steel/Frame Versions/ Version 4.0 : We
I have been looking at cork sheet insulation for my 200 mm x 300 mm aluminium PCB heatbed, by I am not entirely sure how thick it should be. There seems to be a trade off between losing a few millimeters of print height, and providing adequate installation. I have seen 10 mm thick table mats, and then 5/3/2 mm thick cork insulation tiles. On some forums people say they use two 2 mm sheets beneath the aluminium heater and then another 1.5 mm aluminium plate under those, to hold it altogether (source: Re: Is a cork board necessary under the heated bed?). Hopefully this does not come across
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A comment to my question How much insulation do I really need? has made me paranoid about using cork as a heatbed insulator: Why worry -- other than the fact that it's flammable. All..., which is not, as far as I can tell, a temperature that the heatbed reaches, so, in theory, cork should be safe to use as an insulator. In fact temperatures of around 300C are used... material. That is to say, yes it burns but very slowly and it doesn't produce flame so it doesn't spread. Also, when burning, the smoke that it releases is not toxic. However, I am not sure if all
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for the threaded rod and one for the top of the smooth bar (from the lasercut image): However, in version 4, the corresponding top Z axis bracket only has one hole for the smooth bar and just an indentation for the bearing which holds the top of the threaded rod (from Twitter): Here is a close up of the diagram from the google docs repository, listed in the v4 section on the RepRap Wiki page...I have been studying the differences between version 2.x and version 4 of the P3Steel frames - in particular the AC08 bracket at the top of the frame which secures the top of the smooth bars
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tube. This makes me worry that with this particular part, I won't achieve a reliable configuration (and I'm experiencing some binding with the original plain steel throat, so a PTFE liner seems worth exploring). I was wondering about the advisability of using a retainer to apply some pressure at the cold end - a nut with a washer soldered on maybe. My goal is to prevent the teflon tube from rising up, so I can use this part and retain some resilience against excess extrusion pressure. I was assuming I had a slightly sub-standard throat part (in a pack of 6). However, I now wonder
and curls which makes it NOT push itself into the heated tip and out onto whatever I'm printing. The solution would be to find some way to cool this 1 inch shaft between the heat sink and the heated head so.... No warping or peeling off. However, after a few layers, it clogs up and stops extruding. I am using an HIC PRUSA I3 printer with a single extruder head. I've only had the printer for a couple weeks. It had been printing fine with ABS, but the ABS would peel up from the heated bed, so somebody suggested that I use PLA and hairspray. Hairspray is AWESOME !! It sticks really well and removes