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Hot-end and heated pad info

Posted by StlLooking 
Hot-end and heated pad info
September 26, 2014 03:31PM

I know I could search on this, but I figured that the answers to the following are time-sensitive as products evolve, so I am sure this has been asked about a zillion times.

I am a retired Mechanical Engineer and along with a lot of other machines in my garage, I have a commercial ($30,000 in 1998) CNC milling machine with 30" x 20" x 20" envelope. It has 40" per min Feed and 100" per min Rapid with 0.0002" (two-ten-thousandths of an inch) repeatablity. Supper accurate and runs standard Fanuc GCode.

I don't use it much anymore and was thinking of adding some 3D printing parts to it. I am looking for advice on print heads, filament-controllers and heated pads. The heated pad does not need to be huge to play with this set up, so 6" x 6" or 8" x 8" would be fine. Being retired, I no longer have a lot of money to spend, so I want to get good equipment for a reasonable price.

I have seen the Gnexlab filament-controller but need advice on Thermocouple / Thermistor. I know the difference between them, but need to understand which is used where and why.

Who makes a good complete head at a reasonable price?


Re: Hot-end and heated pad info
September 28, 2014 10:07PM
Im a machinist and have been running and programming CNC machinery for almost 25 years now. Ive been machining since i was a kid and have alot of experience with maintaining and troubleshooting CNC machines. I also have thought of using an older unused mill to convert to a 3d printer. The biggest hold up IMO is the software side of things. One trick would be to get the Fanuc control to run the extruder as the 4th axis. I havent put a lot of thought to it but you might even be better off to retrofit the control entirely with something that is made for 3d printing or at least compatible with it. You could use the brain from standard reprap electronics and use the servo drives from the CNC.

I use a J-head hot end from hotends.com. Pretty cheap and well made. I made my own J-heads before that and they perform about 90% as well as the one i purchased. If your a machinist you can buy the components to build your own hot ends. If you have a standard manual lathe its not to difficult. But the cost of buying one if you dont already have everything you need to build is pretty much a wash.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2014 10:12PM by GITRDUN.
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