1/8" aluminum for bed??

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  • #86690
    Jeff
    Participant

    Anyone ever tried to use 1/8″ aluminum “plate” for the bed?  I have some left over from another project and was wondering if it would be stiff enough?  I was thinking of milling out the Speed Plate in it and seeing how it goes, but since this is my first venture into 3D printing, not sure if I should take that risk or just do the Speed Plate out of 1/4″ MDF?

    #86703
    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Should be fine, 1/8″ is pretty thin. It should be okay but I really can’t say for sure.

    #86714
    Jeff
    Participant

    Good lord – I just went down another Rabbit Hole; this time involving material sciences and exploring Moment of Inertia and Modulus of Elasticity (Young’s Modulus).  I had no idea what these two things were when I started looking into the “Stiffness” of MDF vs Aluminum.  In the case of material sciences, Stiffness is a materials resistance to elastic deformation (ability to deform under load and return to baseline when load is removed).  We want a light and Stiff material for the bed.  If my armchair math is right then a 1/8″ thick sheet of Aluminum is about 116% Stiffer then a 1/4″ sheet of MDF.  In comparing the weights, 1/8″ Aluminum weighs about 1.75 pounds per square foot and 1/4″ MDF weighs about 1.3 pounds per square foot.

    What does all this mean for us?  I have no idea!  Lol.

    I do know the following though.  Aluminum is a 34% increase in weight but gives us a 116% increase in strength.  I don’t know if the weight/strength ratio is enough to convert to Aluminum.  I was kinda hoping the numbers would show the 1/8″ Aluminum would be both lighter and stronger then the MDF but sadly, that isn’t the case.

    So, if you really want something that is lightweight yet stiff – Carbon Fiber is the way to go.  Lol.  It is roughly 31% stiffer then Aluminum but 50% lighter (for a given thickness).  Something to consider…

    Edit:  I’m starting to feel like Jeffeb – answering my own questions… lol.

    #86716
    Jeff
    Participant

    I think I’m gonna stick with 1/4″ MDF for now – but I am currently looking at Carbon Fiber plates and they are no where near as expensive as I thought they were going to be…

    Edit:  So, a 2mm thick Carbon Fiber plate weighs about 0.3 pounds/square as opposed to the 1.25 pounds/square foot for MDF.  So, 2mm CF is 76% lighter then 1/4″ MDF but it is also about 60% Stiffer (as long as I am doing my calculations properly).  I found a 400mm x 300mm x 2mm sheet for $43 shipped from Hobbyking.

    It also looks like by rotating the Speed Plate, I can get that to fit on a 200mm x 300mm x 2mm CF plate which I can get from Amazon for $35 with free Prime Shipping…  Hmmm…  Now, the question is – how good can my LR2 cut this stuff without destroying it…  Guess it’s time to do some more research into that.

     

    #86734
    Bill
    Participant

    Bigger question is ‘how good is your dust collection system’? CF dust is really, really nasty (right up there with asbestos) and you really want to submerge in water while cutting to capture that dust as slurry that will kill fish instead of you.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #86736
    Jeff
    Participant

    Bigger question is ‘how good is your dust collection system’? CF dust is really, really nasty (right up there with asbestos) and you really want to submerge in water while cutting to capture that dust as slurry that will kill fish instead of you.

    YIKES!!  I had no idea it was that nasty!!!  But, thinking about it – it makes perfect sense.  Definitely going to give this some thought; but for now, I’m sticking with 1/4″ MDF – cheap and not so dangerous!  Lol.

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