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greengecko

Heated bed upgrade for dummies

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Hi everyone,

I am really happy with my ultimaker. It prints great, no stringing, no bowden tube popping (knock wood) and at the moment running really awesome with the KISSLICER (not sure but the first layer is much better than in Cura, if anyone could give me a hint how to improve that in CURA (which parameters to change) that would be great.

The reason for this thread is that there is only one thing (at this stage), which is warping (even my PLA prints warp a bit if I use high infill). And I really hate it when an awesome print has to be repeated because I broke it when trying to get it off the printing table (and have to redo the blue tape again).

So I hope a heated bed would be the solution for all of my problems (I know there will be others, but that is part of the fun ;) ). I read most/all of the threads on heated bed I think and admittedly I am not a hero in soldering etc., therefore I asked today at Ultimaker if they are planning to have an official heated bed upgrade soon (but I fear that will take a while, if there will be any).

So if I get a negative answer I am prepared to build it for myself, and my preference goes to the easiest solution possible (I know it will be more expensive probably).

If I understood it correctly I would need to purchase the following

- an MK1 (or MK2) heated bed from a reprap source

- a power block (300 W - 400W at 19 V, minimum)

- two LEDs (if I want to have some indication if the heated bed is switched on)

- a thermistor (depending on the type I need to select the correct one in the firmware brewer of Daid)

Then I need to put a resistor onto the PCB, and also connect the thermistor to it and can directly connect the heated bed to the Ultimaker ramps (I have electronic version 1.5.3, so a bit older).

I also have the ulticontroller upgrade and would like to have the heated bed controlled from there.

Can anyone please confirm if I have not overlooked anything and if possible a bit more detailed description how to wire this (to make sure I am not "destroying" my ultimaker ) - that would be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

greengecko

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You're on the right track with your list, but one thing i would mention regarding first layer in cura and your having to pry parts off the tape:

Both these issues indicate that you may need to spend some time on bed leveling and/or Z home adjustment. When properly adjusted, parts should pop off the tape with very little force. You'll need to use this with a heated bed too so it's not wasted effort.

search the forum for the tinfoil / multimeter method of leveling the bed which is the most effective i've found, and install a fine adjustment device on your Z home switch. Cura's first layer thickness is set to .3mm by default, which actually helps alot when the bed's out of level. Once your bed is level, and you've got a fine adjustment device, you can print a simple cylinder, stop the print after the first layer, and measure the ribbon. adjust your Z height until you get .3mm as measured and you'll see much better results.

Kyle

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Cura sets the first layer to have different properties - set it to the same height as all the other layers to give better quality as per k'slicer. However external quality of surfaces is far better with k'slicer, so I'd stick with that if I were you.

You are correct, heated bed is the way to go for better quality - I also came to this conclusion, but like you realized there are far too many 'solutions' of varying quality out there and no official or even 'most recommended' solution.

heated bed would be one of my top 3 wish list upgrades for UM right now.

thedude> you're right it is possible to adjust the bed this way - I had mine set up that way too for a long time. but since I've been upgrading the hotend recently I decided to keep the bed level but have the wrong z and just manually adjust it until I'm done with the mods. I also discovered printing at 50 microns is pretty challenging anyway - some form of automated levelling is in order here.

random thought - why not a 3 screw position bed (instead of 4) arranged as a triangle with a hole under the bed (instead of the wooden tray) so you can use a hairdryer to 'heat bed' the part off afterwards. someone already reported some success with hairdryers.

now I come to think of it. why is the bed acrylic anyway? what's the benefit? why not copper or aluminum and just heat it from the underside when you want parts to stick or unstick?

for ABS it only needs to be a hot bed for the first few layers surely, after that it just needs to be a warm bed doesn't it? perhaps destroyer or someone who prints ABS can comment?

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Hi

@alaris2

Thanks for the hint with the first layer I will try that. I am still a fan of cura because of the project planner (in contrast Kisslicer prints more objects layer by layer) and Cura is a bit better in retraction. I agree that kisslicer makes a bit nicer surface (not sure why but it more flat at top layers).

So a combination of Cura and Kisslicer would be awesome. Actually in my previous life I liked netfabb as well, but they are now really quiet and slow in their development it seems.

So far I did not hear back from Ultimaker if they are planning on a heated bed upgrade.

I complained here as well, (yes I know too much winching) they could be a bit more active and explain what their general way will be to develop the Ultimaker.

So enough of these complaints as admittedly it is complaining on a fairly high level (not sure in German this makes sense)

 

You're on the right track with your list, but one thing i would mention regarding first layer in cura and your having to pry parts off the tape:

Both these issues indicate that you may need to spend some time on bed leveling and/or Z home adjustment. When properly adjusted, parts should pop off the tape with very little force. You'll need to use this with a heated bed too so it's not wasted effort.

search the forum for the tinfoil / multimeter method of leveling the bed which is the most effective i've found, and install a fine adjustment device on your Z home switch. Cura's first layer thickness is set to .3mm by default, which actually helps alot when the bed's out of level. Once your bed is level, and you've got a fine adjustment device, you can print a simple cylinder, stop the print after the first layer, and measure the ribbon. adjust your Z height until you get .3mm as measured and you'll see much better results.

Kyle

Thanks for your hint. I work on that and decided to install and print the fine y axis controller to make sure my bed is leveled. I agree next to the heated bed, this is also very important.

Happy printing and thanks for taking the time.

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segmentation faults? that's unfortunate because you're missing a treat. OK, I'll print you some proof as soon as I'm done with my current run.

retraction settings are not easy to understand in k'slicer which is ironic given it's name. Cura wins hands-down for user-friendlyness still.

you'll want the following settings for good retraction Mr Gecko Sir -

style -> de-string = on

material -> PLA -> destring suck & prime = 2, destring speed = 70, destring min =5

this is approximately the same as Cura then. note that I do not recommend the higher value of 4.5mm retraction that some people use. it leads to so called 'plugs'.

k'slicer does have one bad habit that Cura again beats it with - it tends to retract liberally when it could merely back track over or inside an object and avoid the retraction. this can lead to filament grinding in very small complex areas if not careful.

and I'll add that it's not Cura's fault that k'slicer is better, Daid is limited by what SF will let him do ultimately. he's still done a sterling job for new users, so keep it up.

but we're well off topic now. let's get back to heated beds. I'd still love to hear of one I can actually build. the best I saw was by Jensa, but ended with the unfortunate caveat of 'it doesn't get hot enough for ABS'. can anyone do better?

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and I'll add that it's not Cura's fault that k'slicer is better, Daid is limited by what SF will let him do ultimately. he's still done a sterling job for new users, so keep it up.
But it's not that mentality that created Cura. While I am limited to what SF can do right now. I can look and see if there is something I could change to fix it. And the feature you praise Cura for was already present in SF, except for the fact that is was bugged, and named very obscurely. I only found it after I was halfway finished with my own implementation. All the more reason why I want to see why Kisslicer does a better job.

As for the heated bed. A 20x20cm heated bed is huge, and hard to warm up. If I would want to add a heated bed to my setup, I would create a 12x12cm bed to start with. This should require less power and thus makes it easier to handle.

As for an UM heated bed kit. No idea about that one, didn't spot any on my last visit there.

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