Heated Bed for Type a Machines Series 1

Introduction: Heated Bed for Type a Machines Series 1

About: Smith|Allen is a design firm based in Oakland California. Our work is interdisciplinary in focus bringing design, innovation, and novel concepts to bear on a wide range of projects. Smith|Allen brings toge...

If you've ever printed something large on an FDM style 3D Printer then you're well aware of the limitations of the technology. Without a heated bed it becomes incredibly difficult to get large prints to stay down without warping.

What's a solution to this problem? A heated bed of course! But what if you already have a printer without a heated bed? There's no need to go out and buy a new one, if you have a Series 1 you can use the modular build platform to make your own heated bed! It's pretty easy and only requires some basic fabrication skills.

Note: You will be working with line level 110VAC current, make sure everything is properly grounded and you know what you're doing. 110VAC from the wall can kill you if you're not comfortable then find a friend and talk it through or consult an engineer.

Type A Machines has the best hacker's warranty in the business but if you blow up your machine because of a mistake you make while hacking they may not fix it for you.


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Step 1: What You Will Need:

The First step is to gather supplies:

You will need:

1 Series 1 3D Printer

1 AC out Solid State Relay

1 Thermister

1 13x13" Piece of glass

1 Silicone Heater

110VAC connectors male/female

14G wire for 110VAC

18-22G wire for thermister and 24VDC wiring

Crimping tools and Crimps

note: If you do not have glass cutting tools then get this heater and this glass

Step 2: Planning and Schematic

Since the Rumba outputs 24VDC to run a heated bed we will use an SSR to control 110VAC to run the heated bed. The schematic is shown here with the SSR switching the Live line from the PSU. There is a thermister connected to the Rumba that will give temperature feedback and drive the system.

Step 3: Fabricating the Build Platform

The first step is to make a new platform for your Series 1, the system is modular so you can easily swap between a heated and non-heated platform depending on your needs. I've attached a dxf file of the modifications that need to be made

Grab a piece of 1/8" 6061 Aluminum or 304 Stainless. You will need a piece at lease 14x16", you will want to order a piece that is a bit bigger to make sure there is enough room for work holding.

The hardest part of this instructable is cutting the plate, if you have access to a waterjet then this is easy but if not you may need to make the platform out of wood. We used the waterjet cutter at Autodesk Pier 9. Techshop also has a waterjet that would work for this.

Secure your stock to the bed, set the toolpathing and run the jet. If you are making this at the Pier then I've attached an ORD all ready to go just load into Make and run the jet.

Step 4: Assembling the Platform and Build Plate

Now that you've got your platform its time for assembly. Remove the heater from the packaging. Leave the adhesive cover on for now.

If you haven't already then use glass cutters to cut your glass down to 13x13". Sand the edges to make sure it's not super sharp.

Lay the heater into the cavity on the aluminum plate you just cut, place the glass on top so that the edges all the way around are equal. Mark with a sharpie the corners of the heater. Make a mark where your thermister will go.

Now remove the adhesive backing from the heater, line up the corners with the dots you marked. Slowing roll the heater onto the glass, make sure the thermister is sandwiched between the glass and heater.

Flip the assembly over and push out any air bubbles, do you best to remove any gaps around the thermister.

Once the heater is attached to the glass, run VHB along the exposed gap. You may have to use 2 layers to build up insulation and enough space for the heater wiring. The VHB will hold the glass assembly onto the aluminum platform. Peel off the VHB backing and adhere it to the aluminum.

Step 5: Electronics Assembly: Platform Wiring

The McMaster heater comes pre-wired with a 12" lead. You may need to extend this lead a few inches. Use butt crimps to add additional 14G wire for length.

If you haven't already then add a Molex Microfit 3.0 crimp to the end of your thermister. Add a jumper with a mating crimp.

You now have the 4 wires (2 signal, 2VAC) needed to run your heated bed. Use expanding wire wrap to bundle them together then heatshrink to seal the ends.

To make the bed removable add a 4 conductor plug to the end.

Step 6: Electronics Assembly: SSR Power and Control

Now that the bed is finished it's time to make modifications to the guts of the printer itself. Start by lasercutting a new electronics bay cover. The file is attached.

Make sure your series 1 is off and unplugged.

Double check that the machine is unplugged from the wall, you will be working with live 110VAC current which can kill you. If you are at all unsure of what you are doing grab a friend and talk it out.

Once the old cover is off replace it with the new cover, Insert the receptacle and secure it.

The next step is to set up the SSR. The SSR acts just like a physical switch, except instead of hitting it manually you can control it using a micocontroller. The SSR will be switching the L (live) wire from the screw terminal on the PSU to the heated bed. We are only using the PSU as a terminal block, do not attach the SSR to the DC out!

Step 7: Final Assembly

Find a clear spot to set your SSR down inside the electronics bay, it can get hot so try to keep it away from anything plastic, make sure it's sitting flat against the base so it will act as a heatsink.

Add a spade terminals to the N power line on the receptical pigtail, this should go to N on the PSU 110VAC screw terminal. If you are using a heater with a ground circuit then connect it to the protected ground on the PSU.

Now connect a spade terminal wire to the L (live) on the PSU and the other end to the (#1) on the VAC side of the SSR. Connect the Live wire from the receptacle with a spade terminal to the (#2) side of the SSR.

Finally connect the - DC (#4) side of the SSR to - H1 on the Rumba, connect DC + (#3) to the +H1 on the Rumba.

Double check your connections and then close the bay cover back up. Connect your heated bed plug to the receptacle.

Plug your Series 1 back in and turn it on. Check to make sure everything is working normally (movement, extruder, etc). The next step is testing.

Step 8: Testing and Analysis

You will need to update the firmware on your machine for this to work. You can download a precompiled version here or you can make the changes yourself:

Download the necessary firmware here

Connect your computer via USB to the Rumba Board

Open up Marlin.ino and flash the firmware, once the flash is completed return the USB cable to it's normal position and close the machine back up.maj

Open up your Series 1 web interface, go into the terminal and type in

M140 S70

This will turn on the heated bed and set it's temperature to 70 C. You will see in the responses the second number will start to rise eg:


If it's not working or not getting to temp check your connections and make sure the heater is adhered evenly to the glass.

Now that you have the bed working manually it's time to get it to work automatically with your printer. This is done in the Cura slicing settings. In the GCode prefix add in the line

M140 S70

before the M109 S{temp}

this will heat the bed to 70 automatically, better yet if the bed isn't attached it doesn't do anything so no need to worry.

Step 9: Results!

Your heated bed is now complete! Now get printing.

As you can see in the photos above my glass plate broke when I heated it up to 100C, with thicker glass or borosilicate this would not be such a problem.

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    7 Discussions


    1 year ago on Step 9

    UPDATE to my previous comment: If you don’t have access to a plasma cutter or water-jet, it’s not necessary to replace the original 3mm aluminum builplate. The silicone heat mat can easily be attached underneath with its supplied adhesive backing. A piece of glass (optional) can then be clipped to the top of the stock build plate. If there are times that you don’t want to use the heated bed function, simply turn it off for the print job.


    1 year ago

    I know this is an old project, and TYPE A went out of business, but I want to do this to my 2015 Series 1. My main question is why did you replace the aluminum build plate instead of adding the heated pad on top of the existing [non-heated] aluminum plate? Without access to a water jet or any practical way of cutting aluminum plate, can I avoid this? Your suggestion of wood as an alternative doesn’t seem feasible due to warping. I look forward to your reply and thanks for your creation of the “instructable”. Happy making.


    Question 1 year ago

    Why we should not conect board DC out to the 3 and 4 inputs of the SSR? Can you please tell how did you configure your firmware to connect them to Rumbas's HE1 + and _?


    3 years ago

    Hi there, After looking for the name of that yellow connector I believe is this one http://bit.ly/29utS5S. It says that it can withstand a max of 75V and 4A but you are pushing 110V and ~6A throug it. Am I looking at the wrong wire? Have you had any issues so far? Thanks a lot for such a clear instructable.


    4 years ago

    Awesome! could you please tell me how can I find the yellow cable that you are using to connect the mini din ?


    5 years ago on Step 9

    Awesome job! What material were you printing with the bed at 100°C?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I was printing PLA, after the glass heated up enough though I was able to drop it back to a more reasonable 60-70