Last night I was printing a frame vertex for a Prusa Mendel based CNC router...and I was having a really hard time with my non heated bed...  The part would peel off the bed almost immediately... so I tried the raft feature... and even the raft lines were peeling off rapidly... I knew the problem was with the ABS cooling too rapidly.. but I didn't have the parts nor desire to make a proper heated bed at 1 a.m.  I decided to go "hill-billy" on it and came up with this:

It is basically my heat gun pointed in the general direction of the the print.. propped up precariously with a couple spools of filament and a roll of masking tape..  I was sorta surprised as to how well this ghetto setup actually worked... and thinking about it, there are some definite "pros" to this arrangement...
  • Simple electronics - no need for large power supply to run both the printer and heated bed
  • No need to take existing bed apart
  • No need to re-calibrate the bed
A proper heated bed would probably work better than this arrangement, but I am going to follow my two favorite principles on this one... the KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid), and the 80/20 principle (20% of the effort gets 80% of the results)... Therefore I am going to build a hair dryer mount for a slightly less ghetto and hopefully 80% functional heated bed.

And since there don't seem to be a lot of instructables that really dig into the basics of such a task, I am going to include every little detail starting with the basic idea and ending with the usable object with emphasis on the design/creation of the object.  While the part I am making is very niche specific, this guide is intended to be very basic/general and geared towards someone with little experience designing a part to be built with a 3D printer or other computer based tool.  Think of it as a general guide using a specific example for making something real.

Step 1: Brainstorm and Design

1: Establish General Position/Location:

The first thing I am going to do is get a general idea of where I want the hair dryer to be...  I want it out of the way and I want it to distribute hot air as evenly across the bed as possible.  Given those considerations, I came up with the following position:

The hair dryer is in the back out of the way...  The power cord is out of the way and next to the power strip I use...  The dryer is pointing down the middle of the x-axis and angling down on the upper end of the y-axis...  The hot air should sheet flow relatively evenly across the bed...  It will probably be a bit warmer towards the upper end of the y-axis, but it is as good as I am going to get using hot air...

2: Determine Method and Design of Construction:

The first thing I am going to do is think a little bit and figure out my constraints..  After doing so, I came up with these:
  • The mount should be made completely with 3D printer
  • I want to attach it to the A-frame threaded rods of printer
  • I don't want to disassemble any part of the printer to install it
  • I want some angular adjustment (revolving about the x-axis)
Now I will think about how I am going to satisfy these constraints...  First off, if it is going to be made with my 3D printer, I will have to break it down into multiple pieces as the print bed isn't large enough to make a piece that spans the A-frame braces...  Second, it needs to attach to the A-frame without taking anything apart... I can make clips that snap on around the threaded rod..  As far as adjustment is concerned... well.. I already know I need multiple parts...  so I will make it out of three pieces..  two end pieces that clip onto the threaded A-frame rods... and a middle piece that holds the hair dryer..  the middle piece will be attached to the two end pieces by a movable circular press fit..  An added benefit to this arrangement is that I can swap out middle pieces if I get a different hair dryer or if I find out that hair dryers don't put out enough heat and I need to make a different mount for something with a little more gusto.. like my heat gun (which is sort of a concern for me right now)..

Now that I have that sorted out, it is time to sketch a rough drawing taking into consideration the positioning of the mount.  It doesn't need to be fancy, it just has to get the idea across.. in fact, it should be sloppy, you are just wasting time if you make it too nice (imho).

3: Measure specific dimensions:

Alright... the basic design is done... now time to get more specific.  I am going to be drafting this with OpenSCAD in millimeters... Being in America, most of my measuring devices are in inches... so I will convert on the fly.. I like to have the program "Convert" open while doing this process.. it makes it fast.

The first thing I am going to do is measure the A-frame rods center to center... which is the same as edge to edge (easier to measure)...

That looks pretty close to 9 3/4 inches... so using Convert, I get 247.65mm which is close enough to 248 mm...  

Now I am going to measure how far the mount needs to stick out beyond the plane of the A-frame rods.  It is hard to get a good picture taking this measurement, but you should get the idea:

This is more of a "ballpark" measurement... I am going to go with 60mm on this one...

Next I am going to take measurements for the center piece... Just to be safe, I am going to make the space allocated for the center section large enough to fit my heat gun in case this hair dryer is too wimpy.  

It looks like the head of my heat gun is about 66mm...  If I am going to make a mount for it, I will need a little extra width for the meat of the mount... I'd say 10mm (5mm on each side) would be good enough... therefore I will allocate 76mm for the width of the center section.

... but I am hopefully not going to use my heat gun... I have a cheesy $10 Walmart hair dryer that I am going to try.. so now I will measure how big the center section mount opening needs to be...

The head of the hair dryer has a slight taper and that measurement is at the widest point in the taper, so I will make the center hole exactly 56mm.  If there was no taper, I would enlarge it slightly so the hair dryer would slide in easy..

That should be all the measurements I need to take... 

4: Calculate remaining dimensions needed to draft object:

It is time again to sketch another rudimentary drawing and calculate other dimensions that will be needed when drafting in OpenSCAD.. This is what I came up with:

This is should be enough to get me started... the most important dimensions I needed to figure out are the end piece lengths and the angle they stick out at..  All the other dimensions will pretty much be chosen arbitrarily as they can vary quite a bit without noticeably affecting the performance of the component.


Cool idea...or you could just get a makibox from makible.com
That doesn't help people who already have a Prusa Mendel... <br><br>That makibox looks really cool though... I kinda wish I knew about those before building my Prusa... <br><br>The only drawback I can see is that you are almost required to buy their kit, because the complex non standard parts (ie the body of the printer with all the motor mounts) are too big to be printed. I guess you could print a template on a regular printer and carefully use a drill press, but I can see it being hard to replicate consistently from person to person..<br><br>The Prusa on the other hand... seems more open source... Once you have one, you can print the complex parts for your friends to make theirs.. who can print parts for their freinds.... and so on and so on...<br><br>But don't get me wrong... I really like that makibox... it is an exceptionally good idea...<br><br>
Yeah, the MakiBot isn't meant to be self replicating but for the price it's a great option to get started. I work with Z-Print powder printers but I want something I can use at home. I looked into the Prusa and it seemed like a hassle to put together.
Just curious, how much did it cost for you to make your printer? I have been considering building one of the rep-rap designs (pusrsa mendel/ mendelmax/ huxely) for a while, but have never been sure how quality the parts would be for the cost I put into it. Being a high school student on a limited budget, 3d printing has always intrigued me, and yet always seems a uncertain if it would be worth it to me.
This is way better than a rep rap<br>http://www.makible.com/projects/7-makibox-a6-the-300-desktop-3d-printer
How would you even know? I saw that project on kickstarter only a while ago. If you go to his website, it say that the project was fully funded only a week ago. You can't say that the &quot;makible&quot; printer is better than any 3d printer when they haven't even produced their first fully functional test model.
...I never said it was better bro. Chill out
I think I spent around $600 US getting mine up and running... I didn't do it as cheaply as I could have though... I bought the assembled RAMPS kit and a new power supply.and a kit that had all the hardware and plastic bits.. The added convenience of the way I chose undoubtedly added a fair amount of cost. If you are a good scrounger, you could easily knock off $100- $200..
Seeing machines printing out enhancement for themselves always blows my mind.

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More by macskyver:Development of a 3D Printed Part - Prusa Mendel Hair Dryer Heated Bed Mount Uber-Light 1000 
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