Aluminum Heated bed – with or without Borosilicate Glass Plate?

New Home Forum Milled Printed 3D Printer -MP3DP Advice – MP3DP Aluminum Heated bed – with or without Borosilicate Glass Plate?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Heath 7 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #89162

    Jeff
    Participant

    So, I have a 3mm aluminum heated bed (24v) and it came with a 3mm borosilicate glass plate.  I also got a PEI sheet.  My question is – what combination of the 3 should I be using?  My intention was to use all 3 (PEI on glass) but I want opinions from you guys as to your experiences.  I also want to know if High Temp tape can be used to hold down the glass plate until I can print out some clips?  Thanks once again!!

    #89170

    David Walling
    Participant

    I just use binder clips.

    I use the heated plate and the glass. The binder clips hold the glass directly to the plate.

    #89171

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I have been scolded for applying PEI directly to the aluminum. That’s what I do though. I have a BLTouch sensor too, so the glass might help of you’re doing the manual bed leveling.

    DUI swears by using glass, and if he has trouble getting a print off, he puts the whole thing under a stream of cold water, or was it the freezer?

    #89173

    Jeff
    Participant

    Thanks for the feedback.  I figure since I have it, I might as well use the glass.  Should I put the PEI on the glass or just go with the glass by itself?

    I like the binder clip idea – simple and easy!

    I might have to look into a BLTouch – it seems like it makes life easier…

    #89174

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Should I put the PEI on the glass or just go with the glass by itself?

    The glass by itself won’t stick. You can use blue painter’s tape, glue sticks that start out purple but dry clear, aquanet hair spray, or PEI. The PEI will last a really long time, but if you’re new to printing, you might keep it for a fun upgrade after a bit of trial and error. I think it was giving Kelly D some headaches not knowing what the problem was with adhesion.

    #89175

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I might have to look into a BLTouch – it seems like it makes life easier…

    Have I given you the caution yet that I will gladly tell you how I did something, but I’m not making the recommendation to follow me? I look at this printer as a research bed, and I enjoy tinkering with it. I don’t know if any of the things are better, or worth the effort or cost.

    That said, I really like the BL touch, but I think you have to do your dues leveling with the screws before you’ll appreciate it fully. There’s a lot more configuration that goes into it, or any bed leveling, but once it’s set up, it can compensate for some goofy beds.

    Ryan doesn’t like them, and he has 6 printers printing all day long.

    Kelly D had good luck just buying a BL Touch and putting it next to the printer, as a threat.

    #89180

    Jeff
    Participant

    Jeffe – thanks for the pointers.  I’m just looking to gather thoughts and then start playing on my own.  I am probably gonna start with the glass plate and tape since that seems like the “easiest” solution to start off with.  Once I figure out how to get the printer to actually do something (instead of just sitting next to me taking up space, lol) then I will start exploring other options.

    As for the BLTouch just sitting next to the machine – that’s what the Z Touch plate I got for my LR2 is doing right now.   lol.  I bought the damn thing but haven’t had time to set it up yet.  Too many projects, too little time – if only that pesky “work” didn’t get in the way!!

    #89189

    Bill
    Participant

    I concur with Heffe, learn how to do decent prints without the PEI. Once you have tweaking down, put the PEI on and go production. Getting the PEI off again is a real pain so it’s best to only put it on once you are sure you are ready, but it makes things sooo very nice. 🙂

    The new thing seems to be the magnetics. You have a bottom layer adhered to the bed and a top layer that pops off to allow easy print removal. If you’re doing production you just have several top layers that you swap between jobs. I wonder if they do a better job than glass and aluminum with the inductive sensors? The BL Touch requires a servo output, so another pair of wires to deal with…

    #89219

    Heath
    Participant

    I love Aqua Net and glass.  But, I’ve never tried PEI.  I’d be happy to try it if someone sent me a free sample, but Aqua Net and glass works so well I don’t have much incentive to buy PEI.

    I don’t like binder clips to hold the glass.  Reason being, the aluminum heated beds are notorious for warping under heat and not being flat.  You may not realize it, but glass will flex.  Binder clips holding the glass to the warped aluminum will make the glass flex and also no longer be flat.  Plus, they get in the way of the nozzle.  I use 0.5mm thick thermal pads under the corners.  They let the glass “float” over the aluminum remaining flat while the aluminum warps and twists under from the temperature changes.  There’s no fiddling with the clips to take the glass off or put it on.  Simply pick the glass up and set it back down and done.  And it keeps 100% of the bed clear for the nozzle.  It’s definitely not wrong to use clips.  Do what works best for you.  It’s just not my preference.

    Also, you don’t need borosilicate glass.  It will still break under impact just like pane glass.  But, borosilicate resists shattering under thermal shock (extreme and uneven change in heat) by being more flexible than pane glass.  However, the temps we deal with on a 3D printer heated bed are well within the tolerances of pane glass.  Even printing ABS, you’d have to double the typical print bed temperature to even think about needing borosilicate.  Plus, the temperature change on a heated bed is slow and evenly dispersed.  Even going directly from the printer to the freezer is not enough thermal shock to need borosilicate.  Regular pane glass is just fine for a 3D printer.  It’s easier to source and it’s cheap. The local hardware store can typically custom cut a piece for about $3.

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