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Aluminum Bed - My story (Sorry no pics)

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For my bed I ended up at the local metal supply store found here for the USA.



I had them cut me a 240mm (9.44in) by 240mm (9.44in) by .5 in piece of M6 Aluminum Plate. $45

strait out of the shop it has a tolerance of .005" This is pretty good. And MUCH ! more square then the ultimaker plastic bed.

I clamped the ultimaker plastic bed to the aluminum block and drills the holes where appropriate. 1/8in drill bit.

Installation: I removed the springs and used the longest screws from the kit

From BELOW the bed going up I screwed in these screws. So all my bed leveling adjustments are done from the bottom of the bed

Once the screws were all the way screwed in from the bottom. I used the lock nuts left over from kits. I screwed them about 1/4 in on each screw

I rested the aluminum bed on the protruding screws.

The aluminum block is not attached to the screws, the weight of the bed rests on the nuts.


Advantage. You can easily get to all the screw for adjustments, with out the hot end getting in the way.

I feel I get a more accurate bed height with out using the springs.

Its close to perfectly square. I was tempted to bring it to my local machine shop and have them mill it down to .01mm tolerance, but I haven't had platform leveling issues yet with this setup.

Heating the bed is even and easy with aluminum.

Still using blue tape, waiting for the kapton tape in the mail.

BEWARED: You don't get that 1/4in flex if you run your extruder head into the bed. The only flex is from the Arms from that support the bed.

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With a conductive aluminum bed, wouldn't it be possible to hack the top Z end stop switch and solder one lead to the print head nozzle and another to the bed so that it triggers if the two touch? I haven't checked to see if the heating element and temperature probe are galvanically isolated from the nozzle metal but i think they are...

It would be a neat aid for leveling too! There would never be any question about where the absolute zero Z is :)

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When using an aluminum bed you still put down a layer of tape or sometimes glass. Most people use an aluminum bed because they want to heat it so they switch from blue tape to polyimide tape. Both of these are electrical insulators. But for leveling, yes, you are correct that's a helpful trick. But you don't need the aluminum bed to do it. Check out this video:



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