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Clothes iron as a heated bed?

Posted by Greg Frost 
Clothes iron as a heated bed?
September 26, 2010 03:08AM
Has anyone hacked a clothes iron for use as a heated bed? I would have thought it would be ideal (in terms of simplicity). You should get really fast heat up times and it is already thermostatically controlled.
I wish I didnt throw out our old iron when we last replaced it with a new one.
I wonder how cheaply a steamless iron can be had.
Re: Clothes iron as a heated bed?
September 26, 2010 05:21AM
I've seen factory new irons for € 10.- / $ 12.-

With some luck you can even tweak the thermoswitch to hold the temperature more precisely, making any electronics obsolete. But then, some people tell it's important to change the bed temperature between 100 deg and 140 deg depending on build situation and to hold that temperature within +/- 1 deg. From a technical standpoint, the expansion rate of plastics at 1 deg, or even 5 deg temperature difference is negligible, so it might be worth a test.

Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
Re: Clothes iron as a heated bed?
September 26, 2010 07:59AM
I've done exactly that.... Stuck an old iron under my print bed
See my blog for details and issues I've encountered (http://pdf417.blogspot.com)
The main issues with using an iron are:
    [1] You'll have a massive hotspot in the middle, however if you concentrate your build within the hotspot, you'll be Ok.
    [2] You need a thick (>2mm) aluminium or steel bed to diffuse as much heat as possible.
    [3] The thermostat of the iron is a bit high so you have to mount your bed higher, thus reducing the over build height possible on your machine.
    [4] The repraped parts that hold the bed will warp if you heat them up too much. You therefore need to reduce the heat that is transferred from the bed through the bolts, to the Y carriage.
    [5] The bed needs to be in 2 parts. One attached to the iron and bolted to the Y carriage, while the other is placed on top of it (with some thermal compound in between and held on by binder clips). This is to prevent any warping of the actual print surface.
    [6] You need a thermometer to calibrate the temperature.
    [7] You need mains voltage which can be dangerous if you're not sure what you're doing.
    [8] Irons can be quite heavy so you need to use a NEMA17 motor for the Y carriage.
There may be others but those are the ones I can think of at the moment.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2010 07:59AM by pdf417.
Re: Clothes iron as a heated bed?
October 09, 2010 06:04PM
I just used this method for a quick and dirty Heated-Bed, Seems to work quite well (more testing tomorrow) -

It was a brand new Iron for just £3.84 (TESCO)- It was also a good plan getting the cheapest Iron, as this just had a very thin Stainless sheet over a nice cast Aluminium base, and it was very small and Light, easy to take apart and fit onto a 3mm Aluminium Plate.

While you are as Tesco, get some Silicone baking sheets for insulation...

See my Blog for more info.

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