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Insulating the heated block

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I have been helping out a neighbor with his rep 2 he uses in his classroom. It being in a classroom means it get's beaten up/thoroughly used. Either way one of the things I'm replacing is a strip of ceramic insulation surrounding it's heated aluminum block and that got me thinking, why is it needed in the first place.

Well I now happen to be in possession of some extra ceramic insulation and was thinking about strapping some around my heated block on the ultimaker to see if it would help or hamper my printing but before I went ahead I wanted to hear what you guys think about it.

I'm thinking it could help because of:

1. prevents inadvertent cooling of the heater block from air currents cause by the fan.

2. makes the actual heating more efficient as there is less loss of heat. This could possibly reduce the temperature gradient that runs up the connecting tube from the heater block.

Reasons why this could adversely effect printing:

1. While it is insulation, it can still transfer heat. If there isn't enough space between the heater block and the aluminum mounting plate it could actually transfer more heat to areas of the hot end that shouldn't be hot.

Either way I'm going to document it's effects with a couple of test prints of the ultimaker robot in the next couple of days to see if there is any difference.


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Other people have insulated the heater block and/or tip and they all seemed happy with the result. I wouldn't do anything though that makes it more difficult to change the nozzle. Right now I can unscrew it (when hot of course) and clean it out easily


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