Big size iDex...

  • I run a small 3d printing shop and some of my customers are asking for big size prints (in the range of 650x650x200)

    I've looked into buying a big machine but the prices are really really high so i wads considering building my own (i've already built 3 custom ones that i'm using as of now)

    I was wondering if there is existing setups that are using a large size bed. Do they divide the bed in multiple sections with silicon heat pads and use a DueX5 to control SSR via the additional heater channels? The other challenges are mostly mechanical but i was wondering what approach people were using for big sized printers.

  • I just read your post about wanting a larger printer. I will have to say that it can definitely be done. I have built my own very large printer, 920 mm X 520 mm X 820 mm. If you are wondering, that’s 36 inches x 20 1/2 inches X 32.25 inches of “Z” travel. It was an undertaking to say the least. Still haven’t gotten all the bugs out of it but it does a pretty good job. I have my “U” axis Extruder to mount still but no biggie there. My print bed is a flat top glass stove and my bed heater is the stove itself with a piece of 1/4 inch aluminum plate on it. The stove is wired direct for 110 volts on a really good relay. I don’t recommend this unless you put something in line to protect your bed from getting to hot. About 70 degrees Celsius is all I feel comfortable with, which works out ok with PETG. Not the flattest surface but the Duet WIFI does ok if you do a mesh bed probe first, which takes forever. I would send pictures but it late and the printer is out in the shed. I will send pictures.

  • The bed in the background of this image is a 24" (604mm) diameter bed on a large-ish delta.

    The bed is a glass tabletop, 6mm thick, ordered from Amazon in the US for about $40 USD. The heater is custom made by Keenovo, made for US standard 120V, with a 150C self-resetting safety, for about $240 US shipped. All controlled by an SSR who's low voltage side is just wired directly to the Duet connector that normally drives a heat bed. 24V is well within the input range of the SSR.

    No aluminum, no surface, etc, etc. Works great. You can see the gluestick (purple stuff) in this photo. I've also used hairspray, depending on what I'm printing.

    P.S. That print is various pieces of a flying radio control model of an F4U Corsair. See 3dlabprint dot com for details.

    alt text

  • I don't know how you feel about Deltas... The one who's bed pic is above is 600 Dia by 600 tall, print area. Pretty close to what you were seeking, might need to be a little bigger diameter. More Pics

    For example, starting with a 36 inch tabletop, for a print area of approximately 916 mm dia (because you asked for 650x650 which has a diagonal of 919), and whatever height you want (using 1.5 meter verticals with 1 meter linear slides results in about 357mm Z, much more than your requested 200), a big delta would look a little like this:

    Here's the tabletop:

  • Hey guys thanks for the inputs.

    I would personally prefer a Cartesian type printer (to simplify construction and dual extrusion). I’m curious how you guys did the Z axis? Moving bed or moving gantry? Multiple Z motors or huge belt going to all threaded rods? 3 or 4 rods?

    I was also thinking that just using insulation and heating to whole chamber to 50-70C would be easy with some kind of small heater. That way, a huge glass sheet backed by aluminum extrusions could be used for the bed and would make it lighter to move

    Bringing fresh air for the layer fan and hotend cooling would be a matter of having a flexible cpap tube going to the hotend or something in those lines. Warping would be almost inexistant with a chamber controlled printer

    Thoughts on this? Also, if you guys wanna it me up by PM feel free.

  • Hi!

    I honestly don't know about the other stuff, but deckingmans printer could help you with the Z-Axis design.

    Here's a link, just search on his blog:

  • I have an 18" X 18" heated bed. I went with one Nema 23 stepper with 2 threaded rods (and a long belt) to raise and lower it. I have 4 precision rods with bearings as guides. If you start with a good piece of jig plate for your bed you won't have much issues with bed leveling.

    I can get 6000mm per min of bed travel speed with this setup. Makes it nice since the z axis has so much travel.

  • Take a look at Justine's with it's quad head and bed that can be divided into four 12" x12" squares. All fully enclosed and heated.

  • @deckingman yeah I saw that one a while ago. Interesting build really.

    It’s starting to take shape in my head. I’ll have a bit of testing to do but I think I have a good idea of how I’ll pull it off

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