How to make a heated build platform for a Makerbot Cupcake

Picture of How to make a heated build platform for a Makerbot Cupcake
A heated build platform is an essential component of a production Makerbot Cupcake or other Reprap-based printer using ABS media. Large prints often "warp" because the bottom of the print cools while the top of the print is still being created. The solution is simple -- keep the base of the part relatively warm until the entire print is finished and can cool at the same rate.

These instructions will show you how I made my platform, if you make an improvement please share it with the rest of the Reprap/Makerbot community so they can give it a try.

Note that there are actually two sets of instructions here. The first set requires you to have access to metalworking tools and some basic metalworking skills. If you have a friend who can help you with this (like maybe someone in Robotics Club or who is a welder), that's just as good. The second set gives suggestions on how you can work around not having fancy/expensive tools.

Obligatory Warnings

This project requires a number of tools that can seriously injure you or a bystander. Wear your safety glasses and be careful.

A heated build platform uses Nichrome wire and can easily reach 220F/105C without any change in physical appearance.

Never leave a Makerbot unattended while the build platform or extruder are at temperature.
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argon993 years ago
There is the "I built it factor" but you can also buy a heater like this from reloading supply stores. They are used by the Lyman luber/resizer. They get to between 120 to 130 degrees and just bolt on. Here is a link to on seller: