A warm bed

I’ve tried a variety of tips and tricks to get warp-free prints with my Prusa i3 3D printer. Some things worked acceptably well, others not at all. Eventually I’d come to accept that big prints will warp slightly.

Then last week when shopping for more PLA filament, I realised that upgrading the printer with a heated bed is just slightly more than 20€ – provided you have a spare ATX PSU. If you need a PSU upgrade as well the price is closer to 80€.

20€ later and after 45min of tinkering, this piece aluminium was in place under the printer’s glass bed:

Prusa i3 with heated bedAnd it makes the world of a difference. Any print, no matter how big, now sits nice and planely (sic) on the printing surface.

I should have bought this a long time ago. Flat surfaces are finally truly flat. There’s quite a different feel of precision to the prints. How did I ever live without it?!

My printing procedure is now as follows: The temperature of the bed is set to 50°C (I tried 45°C and it was still too low). The temperature of the nozzle is 205°C. The nozzle diameter is 0.4mm and my first layer is 0.3mm. The following layers are 0.2mm

Furthermore I’ve coated the glass with a very thin layer of PVA carpenter’s glue/water 1:2. I don’t renew this coat between prints.

The prints adhere so well to the warm bed that I cannot remove them. When the bed has cooled it’s fairly easy to get the prints off. This is slightly annoying since cooling takes time. I want my print now damn it!

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