ceramic build platform

General discussion of 3D printers

ceramic build platform

Postby gyrogearloose » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:51 pm

Hi,
I have a Rapman3.2 and an Ordbot printer. After struggling for a while with warping and part distortion problems (In particular on the Rapman), I started experimenting with using ceramics as a build platform. This has been so successful, that I decided to make the solution available to the 3D printing community. I had a batch made of both types of platforms, which I am now selling on ebay under the following listings:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ordbot-Panuc ... 1e763cbb59
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/BFB-Rapman3- ... 1e7638e640

If anyone has suggestions for additional popular sizes, please let me know and I see what I can do.
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Last edited by gyrogearloose on Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby orcinus » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:27 pm

What are the advantages of a ceramic build platform + enamel spray vs. glass + enamel spray?
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby gyrogearloose » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:44 pm

The ceramic platform has the same thickness as the acrylic plate it replaces. This gives it enough thermal mass to act as a heated platform after having been heated up outside of the printer. Also, the enamel spray keys in to the surface of the ceramic plate a lot better than onto glass. If you have a glass plate, you need to fix it somehow onto the existing acrylic bed and need to use a heated bed to retain the temperature. If the acrylic is already warped, you are screwed. The ceramic bed retains flatness 100% and replaces the acrylic bed altogether.
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby gyrogearloose » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:50 pm

gyrogearloose wrote:The ceramic platform has the same thickness as the acrylic plate it replaces. This gives it enough thermal mass to act as a heated platform after having been heated up outside of the printer. Also, the enamel spray keys in to the surface of the ceramic plate a lot better than onto glass. If you have a glass plate, you need to fix it somehow onto the existing acrylic bed and need to use a heated bed to retain the temperature. If the acrylic is already warped, you are screwed. The ceramic bed retains flatness 100% and replaces the acrylic bed altogether.

My reply related to the Rapman printer, of course. If you use a glass plate on a heated platform, you can also coat it with enamel, but I found that it does not stick as well to the shiny surface of the glass as it does to the ceramic. The ceramic also has better heat retention properties than glass. I only heat mine up before the print and then turn it off. Glass will cool down much quicker.
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby orcinus » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:36 am

Ah, thanks.

I'm actually using a plastic enamel spray meant for protecting PCBs.
It sticks to glass rather well. In fact, i usually have trouble taking it down.

But yeah, glass looses the heat rather fast...
Then again, i'm guessing heating up the ceramic plate takes longer?

PS: How's the weight compared to glass?
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby gyrogearloose » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:20 am

orcinus wrote:Ah, thanks.

I'm actually using a plastic enamel spray meant for protecting PCBs.
It sticks to glass rather well. In fact, i usually have trouble taking it down.

But yeah, glass looses the heat rather fast...
Then again, i'm guessing heating up the ceramic plate takes longer?

PS: How's the weight compared to glass?

I think it is about the same. The plate weighs 300gr.
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby SystemsGuy » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:05 am

Orcinus - what PCB spray are you using? I "liberated" some from work, but it' didn't work well at all - I went back to Kapton tape.

orcinus wrote:Ah, thanks.

I'm actually using a plastic enamel spray meant for protecting PCBs.
It sticks to glass rather well. In fact, i usually have trouble taking it down.

But yeah, glass looses the heat rather fast...
Then again, i'm guessing heating up the ceramic plate takes longer?

PS: How's the weight compared to glass?
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby gyrogearloose » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:45 pm

Systemsguy, no need to make it complicated. Just go to your local hardware and but the cheapest enamel spray you can get. That is about as exotic as it gets. If you print PLA, you do not even need to preheat. Start printing while the paint is still tacky and the PLA layer will bond with it perfectly.
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby orcinus » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:29 am

@SystemsGuy - this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hellermann-Plas ... B000YIW7GS

Dries instantly and isn't tacky. Stuff sticks to it rather well when it's 40 degrees and above. You need to cool it to scrape the objects off, though, or you inevitably end up damaging the printed object.
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Re: ceramic build platform

Postby gyrogearloose » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:09 am

Ornicus, If it works for you, that is great. In my last post I said that you can print PLA on the coating while it is still tacky to obviate the need for heating, meaning you turn the short period in which the paint stays tacky to your advantage. Also, note that ordinary clear enamel spray is freely available everywhere and will cost you less than half of what you are using.
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