Aluminium plate in Oz


#1

Google doesn’t help much here, along with testing out all the local Alu places.

Just wondering if anyone in Oz has had any luck finding some sort of tooling plate to use as the heat bed. People state side have the luxury of using Alcoa MIC-6 for this however I’m unable to source a supplier over here that will sell me a 300x200 piece. /sadface

I currently have my silicon heater stuck to my old Mk2a alu heat bed and it works, however it is starting to warp so want to find a new alu bed (so I can move to an inductive probe too)

Thanks in advance!


#2

I have had a theory of late but never tried it yet. Silicone heat bed directly onto Borosilicate plate. I even bought hole cutter to drill the 4 holes in the plate.

1… I think it will be way cheaper and 2… Boroglass is pretty stable and maybe as stable with expansion and contraction.


#3

Hmm. I was thinking about the hot bed for my machine last night and I was going to go for a 300 x 300mm aluminium plate with the 750W mains powered silicon self-adhesive heater which I have already purchased. Sticking it straight to glass is an interesting option.

The only worry I would have is the fragility of the bed. Breaking the glass would mean you would need to replace the heat pad as well and mine cost £45. What thickness of glass would you go for?

At least I wouldn’t have to earth the plate!


#4

I buy Borro glass at 3mm but I am sure you can get it in 4 or 5mm. There is another glass which is similar to borrglass… it’s the glass you see in oven doors. it is more expensive though.

One downside though… no good for inductive bed leveling sensor.

@Jimmi I will ask they guy how does my machining about the MIC-6 Ali when I see him soon.


#5

Boro was the initial thought when we spoke a while ago however the breakage and lack of inductive sensor kind of bites.

Group buy of MIC-6 anyone? :smiley:


#6

I looked for MIC-6 here in Canada, for a while, and unless you want to go crazy in price, it wont happen.

I’ve been using 5mm of “whatever aluminium that was used by a local laser cutting place” for months now and it’s quite fine. It has some bowing in the center, but with mesh bed leveling it’s canceled quite well.


#7

Thicker Boro-Silicate glass is almost non-existent in the UK. I found a single source but the price they wanted for a 300 x 300 piece left me in shock. Consequently, I am going to stick with my original plan of standard aluminium plate (what is the perceived advantage of MIC-6?).

I’ve been thinking about why an aluminium sheet should warp and the only reasons I can think of are:

  • The sheet is too heavily constrained i.e. the fixings don’t allow expansion
  • The heating is uneven
  • Uneven expansion is caused by the part being printed insulating one area of the plate

You can’t do much about the last item. Silicon heating pads should prevent item 2 but I can see how people that use power resistors bolted to the plate would have problems. The first item can be relatively easily designed out by using oversized holes or slots for some of the fixing points.


#8

OK. I’ve ordered my build plate. I found a brand in the UK called Ecocast which is technically almost identical to MIC-6 and is precision ground on both sides. I went for 6mm plate but it is available in 4, 5, 6 & 10mm.


#9

Cool what was the price?


#10

@ant0ny £29.25 GBP or $47.78 AUD for a 320mm x 354mm plate.


#11

When can we 3dprint ourselves some Teleporters? Make shipping between the rest of the world and Australia a bit easier. :smiley:

@ant0ny : If your friend has some type of tooling plate that he can cut to be roughly the same shape as the alu carriage you made for me, I’d be happy with that to start off with. Will stick my silicon heater to the bottom and give it a shot. My current re-purposed mk2 alu bed has severe warping in the middle so is useless.