Question for beds and bed leveling

Hi all! See some familiar faces still hanging out here. I was pleasantly surprised that there was still activity. Great to see you still here Eric! I dropped off the map from 3D printing last year as I got an addition to the family, and a big move, but am itching to get back into things. Watching the Mandalorian really got me wanting to print up a helmet.

I’m a little curious what the current status is for favorite bed materials. I also noticed a picture floating in one of the new threads of a carriage with a BLTouch sensor on it. I’m still on an older mini space invaders carriage and was thinking of swapping out to something a little more serviceable and wanted to know of any good recommendations for what’s what now after a year hiatus.

Additionally, I was printing on cheap piece of float glass on top of my aluminum bed, has anyone been printing on something else? I recall one of the members discussing powdercoated PEI sheets ala Prusa, did that fizzle out?

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Yep there’s a compact carriage with a BL touch mount out on the GitHub now under community mods. And and there is a recent post about it here as well. Also looks like there’s a good hemera mount in the works, just posted today. Hopefully once he gets it dialed in it can get pushed out to the GitHub.

I don’t have a flexplate on any of my large printers yet, but after having put one on my ender 3 I think it might not be a bad investment in my other printers. There’s several vendors out there that make various size flexplates, and my preference is actually smooth PEI over the textured. So it wouldn’t even be hard to make yourself. PEI sheets are readily available in just about every size, and having someone laser cut a piece of spring steel is pretty reasonable if you wanted to self-source it.

Ryan-

You must print out at least 1 baby Yoda before altering your printer!

I have had my ‘fun’ with leveling and sensors. Results inconclusive so far.

  1. I have a fan duct modeled for DC42’s differential IR sensor. Seems to work well. It tells me that my bed is a Pringle. I thought I posted stl’s

  2. I tried peizo setups too. Bed a differently shaped pretzel according to that.

I am convinced that my issue is backlash/motion in the Z axis. If I Z-hop, prints look like crap. If I dont use it, then passable.

  1. I got fed up with it and said fsck it and went back to dumb Z endstop. 3 point leveling and stopped fussing. I print a FAT bottom layer and it seems to work. I am saving the sensors for other projects.

Bed materials- I laminated a 30mil piece of PEI onto black anodized aluminum foil and it looks great and works great for all materials. Don’t be tempted by the thin stuff, get a thick chunk and it does not deform or tear when manhandled.

I worked up a BMG carriage with LM8U bearings. Quality bearings make all the difference. I dont think I posted it yet, but let me know if you are interested. I can easily mod it to Standard hotend.

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Thanks guys, glad you’re both here and active still!

I had a DC42 sensor back on my mini kossel and it was actually not too bad from what I recall. I do think most of the non-touch sensors are a bit of a headache more than anything, but I was kind of hoping something like the BL Touch might work a bit better. The stats on it seem to be relatively acceptable. I had good results mostly leveling the bed by hand, but I just kind of wanted to simplify the process.

Thanks for the suggestions about just picking up a PEI sheet, I feel dumb not thinking of that myself. I am thinking in theory with thick piece of PEI, I could just place it like I would a sheet of float glass on top of my aluminum bed correct?

The premade pei sheets I bought and had 3M 468mp high temp adhesive pre-applied to the back. Other times when I’ve done it myself I just bought the 2" wide 3M adhesive tape on a roll and applied it in strips covering the bed. But if I were to do it nowadays after having used a flexible bed, I would embed high temp neodymium N45SH magnets into the aluminum bed heat spreader, and apply the pei with 3M 468mp to a spring steel sheet that sticks to the magnets.

Eric, do you have a good source for PEI sheets? The larger sizes go up in price pretty fast, was curious if you happened to find a place that had better pricing or if the prices I see on amazon are as good as it gets.

I don’t know if this would help but here is where i get my Kapton sheets from:

I sourced mine a long time ago, and can’t seem to find the information of where I got my large PEI sheets. I think it was zoro.com

That being said it looks like there’s a few sellers out there that will make custom-sized ones. You can get them with smooth PEI and also PEI powder coated textured beds too.

Seller Info
https://a.aliexpress.com/_sKeBDx

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I chatted with the supplier. They said $69.69 free shipping will get a double sided pei spring steel sheet (smooth one side, textured on other) for HercuLien or Eustathios. This also includes the high temp magnet pad for under it to attach it to the aluminum heat spreader. They said buy the “410x410” from the size drop-down list, and add notes with the order about it being custom, put the size you want, and which edge you want the lifting tab put on.

https://a.aliexpress.com/_DMut6

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