While trying to troubleshoot the molten ball on the top row, I had the extraction fan and lights all working. I noticed it took longer than “normal” to heat the bed. I had adjusted the heated bed temperature to be approx 100 degrees but it was slow. heating up, I thought this was odd, previously using my old mark 2 heated bed it was taking approx 18 minutes to reach 115 degrees C. Now it was taking 30 minutes to reach 100 degrees.
I got the front and side perspex mounted and complete with magnets for holding in place and handles for opening and access to inside.
The next step was to power it all up and test.
I shuddered at the thought of all the configurations needed.
I was waiting for some Acrylic for the outside of my enclosure, I had taken my heated bed and moved it to the side while adding the upgraded hot end. I thought I should put it back now I have the new Marlin Firmware & I could adjust the hot end height etc. In the past I had levelled the bed quite easily but now for some reason it was just was not levelling at all. The bed was totally twisted.
I was trawling Amazon and saw the MK3 aluminium clad heated bed. I read about the MK3 and how it should have an even heated surface.
Ordering it was the easy part.
I have always found that the LED on the bed was a good sign of if the bed was on or not. I examined the bed when it arrived it seemed OK. Quite thick no visible warping. I also noticed that the LED would now be facing down and not visible. I thought I would just wire the LED to a resistor two wires and add it to the loom no big deal.
I tried to solder the heater wires to the pads with my 40 Watt soldering iron. It kept sticking to the pad it was like it was a magnet.
OK, I thought, this needs the 100 watt soldering iron gun. I tried heating up the gun until it had been on for several minutes. This gave me about 4 seconds of usable time then it started sticking too. After about 90 minutes I had managed to get the solder to flow on one of the pads. But the pads 2&3 had to be joined together there was no way I was going to solder this properly.
I thought about the reflow soldering process so I got the oven that my wife uses for her polymer clay. The oven was too small to put the board inside so I put the part of the board with the pads on the outside top of the oven and turned the oven on high.
You would think this would work!
The board was now hot and it gave a small improvement but not enough to solder both pads.
After spending 90 minutes fussing with the oven and the 100w gun. I added my 40 watt iron success the solder flowed. I needed an extra set of hands and got help to hold the wire in place and feed the solder while I held the 2 soldering irons together on the pad.
So if you are trying to upgrade to an aluminium heated bed, then now you know the key is to preheat the board so that the aluminium does not suck away all the heat from the soldering iron.
They are not the best solder joints in the world the one on the right is better but the 2 on the left wow they were difficult to solder neatly.
While making my enclosure I was looking at the hot end when I noticed that the thermistor was barely attached and was only hanging on by a thread of kapton tape. This sent shivers down my spine as I thought about how I could have had thermal runaway.
I then started to wrap the thermistor back into it’s location on the hot end. I broke the thermistor lead as it enters the glass envelope.
I started to look for another thermistor but at the same time I ordered from the UK the updated E3D v6.
I attached the replacement thermistor, thinking I would upgrade to the v6 later.
The v6 hot end uses a thermistor in a metal canister. Well after some thought (mainly about thermal runaway) I came to the conclusion that I would probably have to go and update the Marlin software anyway. I read that the newer software had a feature to prevent thermal runaway. Well if I am doing that I should check into the v6 hot end.
I looked at the E3dv5 & E3dv6, added and removed the hot end several times thought about what I would need to modify to get this done. I found I just needed to remove some plastic that surrounded the cooling chamber.
I watched the videos about how to set up the Marlin firmware a few times and used the values that came with the printer and modified the values for the hot end thermistor etc.
A lot of great projects get sidetracked, I have been busy this winter with various items. Progress on enclosing my 3D printer has technically continued.
The making of the enclosure has slowed down but things around it have progressed, a sort of feature creep. I realized that I could make things better with a slight rearrangement in my goals.
When I reorganised the area to accommodate my larger printer. I saw an opportunity to add a cool location for my smaller Fabrikator mini printer.
It all started by fitting some shelves and that sort of snowballed.
I removed the old hood and put up a new shelf a little to the right.
And the new shelf
The other major change was I picked some parts and assembled a new computer and brought down my older computer to the work area because this had a better video card it seemed sensible that I got a better second LCD screen .
To enable printing to my Fabrikator mini I mounted a Raspberry Pi up on the wall and added a camera so I can see monitor it on one of my screens while I am busy doing other things.
I made a space for my fume carrying hose from my larger printer so it could be nicely sandwiched straight up the wall and the shelf. I added a power bar that I can easily access.