Copper heat spreader plate for about $45

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Copper heat spreader plate for about $45

Postby redoverred » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:09 am

I just got done installing a copper heat spreader plate that I hope will help even a tiny bit with getting the bed a consistent temp. I bought a 12x12 inch square .093" thick copper plate, had a friend of a friend cut it to size (about 310mm around) and then I drilled a poorly measured off-center hole for the bed LED (whoops, but the LED shows through mostly anyways!). There are 4 flat sides, since the 310mm bed is a bit over 12 inches, but it fits well and I didn't even need new binder clips!

I also put 2 layers of Kapton tape around the edges to try and get a bit less heat transfer from the copper plate edge to the air, but I don't even know if that was needed, although it did feel super hot around the printer when I'd heat it up without the tape as compared to before the plate, so I think it acted as a sort of radiator. I might get something better to keep the heat in later, but for now it qualitatively feels cooler around the printer with the tape.

The temperatures as measured with both an IR thermometer and a contact thermometer are within .5 C all around the plate now, which is MUCH better than the 20+ C differences before! It takes a small amount of time longer to heat the bed than before and the surface lags the sensor just a bit since the sensor is not touching the plate, but I was thinking that with this setup I could probably use copper RTV silicone to bond the thermistor right onto the copper plate or drill a hole in the center to raise the thermistor into contact or something.

I don't know about printing quality yet, but I would imagine that at the very least it will help with bed adhesion on the edges and maybe with ABS adhesion hours into a big print.

Photo of bed from the webcam I use to keep track of prints:

The product I purchased:
110 copper 0.093" plate

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