Mendel heated bed

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

If you build fused-filament-fabrication parts (the technology that RepRap uses) at room temperature, they have a tendency to curl as they cool from the bottom up. This is caused by higher layers shrinking as they cool and bending the already-set lower layers upwards. Different plastics suffer from this problem to different extents. ABS warps morethan most other materials.

Mendel heated bed
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is quite good. Indeed, if you make a single PLA part in your RepRap, curling probably won`t be a problem at all - the part will stay warm enough from one layer to the next to eliminate the problem almost completely. But if you build whole trays of parts (as in the picture) then, even using PLA, you can get some curling. The cure for this is to build on a bed that is heated. This heated bed is primarily for making polylactic acid (PLA) parts. It probably won`t run hot enough for ABS. But that guess is subject to correction by experiment. See also Heated_Bed page which have other alternatives materials (may be easier to source locally, more cheap, etc) for making the Mendel Heated Bed. That page have also more information about the Heated Bed, electronic circuits, firmware, Skeinforge configuration for Heated Bed, etc. The main part of the heated bed is made from Dibond. This is a sandwich of LDPE between two sheets of aluminium. It is very light, very stiff and very flat - all required properties for a RepRap build bed. The bed is made from a sheet of Dibond with heating wires and insulation attached underneath. I bought my Dibond from these people who kindly cut it into rectangles of 232x260 mm for me. It is pretty widely available as it is used for making signs and exhibition stands and such like. It`s also pretty cheap. This shows the pattern to be cut from 3 mm thick Dibond (the. dxf file for this...

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