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Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?

Posted by jerseyguy1996 
Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 24, 2017 07:44AM
I searched for "self leveling epoxy" but didn't find anything as it relates to 3d printer build surfaces. My thought is to build a frame, pour in a small amount of self leveling epoxy and let it set. Then put my MK2B with leads soldered on in and pour in another layer of self leveling epoxy, encapsulating the MK2B and creating a ~perfectly flat surface to build on. Has anyone tried this?
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 24, 2017 08:54AM
Its flat in relation to the earth. If you have it siting on a wonky table then move it, you will still have a non flat surface. (well it will be flat, but tilted, and uneven)

Ideally you need to pore a flat surface then without moving that surface pore the bed on that surface.

Also make sure you have some sort of vibration system to get the air out of the epoxy.

I have no idea how this will hold up heated, and no idea if anything would stick to it, but you can cover it with PEI to fix any adhesion issues
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 24, 2017 09:00AM
I'd go for silicone instead. It comes in different viscosities and is heat resistant.
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 24, 2017 09:35AM
I reckon PrintBite is some form of self leveling polymer, so maybe epoxy will work? Potentially cheaper then PEI... There are so many variants of thermosetting polymers / epoxies though, will they all work the same? I doubt it will stay hard enough to keep the PCB flat but as a print surface it may work, and by the time you have enough I wonder if 5mm tooling plate would be lighter and easier to work with?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2017 09:38AM by Origamib.
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 24, 2017 10:05AM
PEI costs $15 for 300x300 mm x 30 mils via amazon.com. How much cheaper does it have to get?

You can get a piece of cast aluminum tooling plate that comes already milled flat for $40 retail, and if you live in Milwaukee or Minneapolis, you can get it for $15 at Howard Precision Metals.

Considering the time it will save, the minor difference in cost, and the guaranteed results, the tooling plate with a thin layer of PEI makes the most sense.

OTOH, if you're looking for an experiment, have at it...


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 24, 2017 11:38AM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
PEI costs $15 for 300x300 mm x 30 mils via amazon.com. How much cheaper does it have to get?

You can get a piece of cast aluminum tooling plate that comes already milled flat for $40 retail, and if you live in Milwaukee or Minneapolis, you can get it for $15 at Howard Precision Metals.

Considering the time it will save, the minor difference in cost, and the guaranteed results, the tooling plate with a thin layer of PEI makes the most sense.

OTOH, if you're looking for an experiment, have at it...

PEI is very difficult to get in the UK and would likely cost 3 or 4 times as much. Printbite is a good alternative and is very cheap but I wouldn't say its the cure-all. Certainly comes close though...
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 24, 2017 09:09PM
Better check the max temperature the epoxy can survive first spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 25, 2017 10:29PM
Thanks everyone for all of the responses. It looks like most epoxies are only temperature resistant up to 100F so looks like I will stick with glass for now.
Re: Self Leveling Epoxy Build Surface?
May 26, 2017 02:10AM
Another bad news is the cushion effect you'd see at the edges. You'd have to fill the exact right amount of epoxy into the frame to equal out cushion effect ( fluid bulging out at the edges ) and the shrinkrate of epoxy.
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