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Building the Vulcanus: Week 4


Well, I got half of the screws and bolts I ordered, unfortunately the half I can’t use right now. I got the bolts. The screws are still….. somewhere in a boat from China. So instead I’m going to talk about the benefits of a heated print bed vs a non heated one.

Heat beds are used because they dramatically improve print quality by keeping the plastic warm and preventing warping. Warping is a common condition caused by plastic on the edges of the part cooling down at an uneven rate when compared to the plastic inside of the part. The result is that corners warp up and deform your model.

In the past, printing a raft (a thin layer of plastic that is then printed on) was used to prevent warping by increasing the surface area of the part. The larger surface area increased adhesion and lessened the likelihood of warping, but it didn’t get rid of it entirely.

Heat beds prevent warping by keeping the parts that adhere to the bed warm during the printing. Generally it keeps the plastic malleable so that it doesn’t cool and shrink, causing warping.


I found a video that shows what can happen if you don’t have a heated bed.

Now, you can get some solid prints without a heated bed, as long as you use blue painters tape, or something similar that lefts the plastic adhere more effectively. Hairspray and Kapton tape are also supposed to work, but I’ve had fantastic success with blue painters tape so I can’t really speak to its efficacy.

Heated print beds are more expensive and do require a larger power supply as well as more switches, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. All in all it is more complicated, but it will allow you to print with materials that you couldn’t otherwise. Some of those include Wood filaments, Carbon Fiber, Kevlar, Nylon as well as Flexible plastics and some rubbers.


I’m only buying half of the print bed. The heater, for the rest I’m either going to find a piece of glass that almost fits, or get a piece of aluminum cut to fit it.


Tune in next week where I’ll hopefully have some GODDAMNED SCREWS!


Please just get here screws… please.


Yves Hacault is only slowly going insane, his views are his own.

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