While we were quiet, we were busy.   This is the school quarter when we offer the Advanced Additive Manufacturing course.   That means that we were busy getting our DIY hardware systems up and running so our local “mad scientists” have something for playtime.

We pulled our dusty Cupcake off of the shelf and gave it a new Heated Build Platform (HPB).   A quick check of the internet, yielded nothing as HPBs are out of stock (almost everywhere).     As they say — Necessity is the mother on invention.

One of the lessons learned from the RepRap/MakerBot communities is adaptive (re)use.   We were looking for a heating system or heating pad which operated on 12 volts.   A quick check of the usual industrial suppliers, yielded solutions but the price tag was too high.  We continued to look for 12 volt heater applications.

For all of you that ride a motorcycle and live in a climate where cold hands from riding are the norm, there is adaptive product from your world — Motorcycle handlebar warmers!   A quick check on the internet produced so many results that choosing the correct one was now the problem.   The price runs from the low end of $7 (plus shipping) to $45 (plus shipping). Wow, who would have known.  Product specifications and consumer reviews were VERY helpful.

We found a 3 amp product for $27 (free shipping).   Two pads (one for each hand) have a total of 3 amps draw!   Wiring was already attached!  Self adhesive pad. Bonus = resistor for the ATX power supply trick.

{the missing pad has already been installed}

Some warmers even have two resistor grids to provide two levels of heating.  Depending on which electronics that you are using on your Bot, you may want/need a relay board.

One reviewer stated “I installed these and have used them everyday for the last seven years” — seems like 7 years of motorcycle use equals robust.

Install on an aluminum plate (with a thermistor or thermocouple), wire it up and add to bot.   You are now toasty warm at a nice price.

Adaptive use means a lower cost solution by mining the consumer product farm.

12 Comments on Of HBP and other hot things

  1. Matt says:

    How hot does it get?

    • ganter says:

      More than hot enough for PLA (past 60 deg C). We are waiting for our relay board as it heats up much hotter
      when directly connected to a power supply.The Mosfets on the Gen3 extruder board seem to be unable to provide
      enough power.

  2. Matt says:

    How hot does it get?

    • ganter says:

      More than hot enough for PLA (past 60 deg C). We are waiting for our relay board as it heats up much hotter
      when directly connected to a power supply.The Mosfets on the Gen3 extruder board seem to be unable to provide
      enough power.

  3. LawrenceSeattle says:

    Neat idea. Still pretty pricey though since an off the shelf HBP desgined for bots are ~30-40. You could also etch one for <$10.

    • ganter says:

      We are always looking for off-the-shelf ideas that work. So much of the success of DIY 3DP is based on harvesting parts from other places.

  4. LawrenceSeattle says:

    Neat idea. Still pretty pricey though since an off the shelf HBP desgined for bots are ~30-40. You could also etch one for <$10.

    • ganter says:

      We are always looking for off-the-shelf ideas that work. So much of the success of DIY 3DP is based on harvesting parts from other places.

  5. EpicFail says:

    What is this ATX trick you speak of? Im purchasing these right now but I dont know what the trick would be to connect it to an ATX output, however based on the specs im wondering if it would work with an existing Makerbot power connection.

    • ganter says:

      This reply is from Bowman:

      “The ATX power supply jumps all 20 some pins by running it through a resistor, the by-product of that is the little 4 set square plug (2 Yellow, 2 Black) out puts ~12 Volts DC current. This is how the Printrboard runs. For the heater pads pair 1 ATX yellow to red and 1 ATX black to black, this should run the heater at about 60-71 degrees C. It depends on the thermal mass of the build plate, Also make sure the print bed is rigid. If it is just a thin piece of metal and/or the build plate is to large the can be warping of the build plate.”

  6. EpicFail says:

    What is this ATX trick you speak of? Im purchasing these right now but I dont know what the trick would be to connect it to an ATX output, however based on the specs im wondering if it would work with an existing Makerbot power connection.

    • ganter says:

      This reply is from Bowman:

      “The ATX power supply jumps all 20 some pins by running it through a resistor, the by-product of that is the little 4 set square plug (2 Yellow, 2 Black) out puts ~12 Volts DC current. This is how the Printrboard runs. For the heater pads pair 1 ATX yellow to red and 1 ATX black to black, this should run the heater at about 60-71 degrees C. It depends on the thermal mass of the build plate, Also make sure the print bed is rigid. If it is just a thin piece of metal and/or the build plate is to large the can be warping of the build plate.”

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