DIY print chamber HEATER that works great


#1

Living in Minnesota, there are many months of the year where my workroom is barely above 60 degrees F in the morning, and doesn’t get above 67 at any point in the day. The print success rate always drops for me when the temps drop, even if I prewarm the resin. After several failures, I finally found a great solution for maintaing a constant temp in the printing chamber, and it’s been working very well for several months now this winter.

The product I bought and adapted for my Form1 is a small egg incubator heater-digital themostat-fan combination that attaches to the vertical arm of the printer. The product is called the “IncuKit™ MINI for Desktop Incubators | Thermostat, Fan & Heater”, and the website link is: http://incubatorwarehouse.com/48-watt-incukit-dc.html



The heater unit is attached to the vertical print head arm by a large, powerful magnet that’s screwed to the heater assembly using a piece of angled aluminum. You just position the unit back behind the print head path. The power cord runs along the side of the vat tray and out the front of the printer, next to the magnetic sensor. Because the cord is small, the printer thinks the cover is closed. I set the digital thermostat temp to 76 degrees F and let the unit run 24/7. It uses minimal energy and keeps the temp within a 1-2 degree temp range constantly, regardless of room temp. So far, I have not noticed any issues related to fan vibration or air circulation, although it’s best to remove the print head immediately after completion of the print so that dripping resin isn’t blown around the chamber.

To aid in the efficiency of the heater, I also bought a silver mylar emergency blanket and folded and taped it together to make a multilayer insulating hood that slides over the orange cover. These blankets cost about $2.50 and the cover is very easy to make, using packing tape and scissors. Mine has a plastic window in it so I can check on the print progress. The mylar cover also blocks stray light from entering the print chamber, and acts as a dust cover too.


That’s it. NO alteration of the printer itself is required. The heater just magnetically locks into position, and you’re ready to go.

Finally, my printer is functional in winter again. Hope this helps others who have experienced cold weather issues.


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#2

THANK YOU! You did the leg work I was too busy to do. Ordering one now…


#3

That is awesome! Had the same issues in the North of Scotland and rather than turn on the heating for the whole house I had been on the look out for something like this. I wonder if i could route the wire through the printer to tidy it up.

Need to either find one that will ship over to the UK or something similar over here.


#4

I got one of these and didn’t use the magnet. Made a bracket to hang it. Attaching pictures of ver1 and .stl of ver2.

IncuClip.STL (315.9 KB)




#5

@MarkStrohbehn @BryanHaven
Hey, cool. This blows hot air around in the space? Have you noticed an increased amount of dust on your mirrors at all? I’m using a resistance wire/thermocouple typically used for reptile terrariums submerged in the resin itself. I heat to 100F. Works fantastic. knock on wood, but it appears to prevent PDMS clouding too. Same tank for over two liters of resin, and there is no clouding visible at all.


#6

Haven’t really used it yet thought I’d expect it to be a non-issue.


#7

@BryanHaven
Great job on the bracket design, Bryan. Glad to see others are using the heater. It’s made printing much more reliable in the cold winter months.

@ChristopherBarr
The heater fan circulates the chamber air very gently. As soon as the print is done and the platform rises I turn off the fan so it doesn’t splatter the dripping resin around. I haven’t noticed an increased problem with dust, but am pretty careful about keeping the printer covered when not in use and the surrounding area clean.


#8

@ChristopherBarr I tried to contact you through the form2 teardown article comments about your latest way of heating the f1+ tank. Have you shared photos and details on how to make your solution work anywhere? If not please pm (im new here and cant find a pm function) or msg at adam.kley@gmail.com

Thank you!


#9

@survivalist

I’ll try to put something together over the holiday weekend if I can find time.

Everyone is in agreement that warmed up resin prints better. The difference in opinion lies only in how best to do that. I would just like to say though that heating the air, (and by extension, literally everything the air is touching), is definitely not what you want to do. First, the device itself is an enormous heatsink, sucking much of the energy out of the air before it even begins to elevate the resin temperature.

In fact, it’s actually only the resin itself whose temperature you want to elevate, and ideally in a very controlled and measurable fashion so it’s repeatable. There is literally zero benefit in heating the device itself, which of course hot air will do, as this will likely reduce the life of the device and waste energy. That and blowing air around will inevitably increase the odds that dust will be deposited on the mirrors. Thinking otherwise is simply incomplete or wishful thinking.

For those heating with air, I’m sure it’s better than nothing, and I’m glad you are happy with the solution, but it does have several drawbacks that make it not viable for me anyway. It’s simple, I’ll give you that, but it’s definitely non-optimal.


#10

Great idea, can you take a photo of the device and your placement of it?


#11

See new thread here:


#12

@ChristopherBarr, Thanks for the post. Do you have to put those cables into the tank on each build, then clean them afterwards? That seems pretty inconvenient. Where did you get the heater kit (cable, thermometer, controller)?


#13

Hi @DigArt
So yeah, if I was changing tanks a lot you are correct it would be a bit of a pain. But through experimentation, I’ve settled on a 50/50 mix of clear and tough for my engineering prototype models I’m making for my startup. I’ve found this hybrid resin mix is the best I can get for precision snap fits.

The fact is, since I’ve started heating the resin to ~45c, over 2+ liters ago, I have seen zero clouding of the tank. Plus it was not a new tank when I started using it.

I have pulled the tank out a few times with the wires still in it, dumped out resin to inspect the PDMS and filter it, but really there were no chunks or globs or any of that.

But yes, when I do eventually need to change tanks it will be a bit of a mess to deal with, but honestly I’m fine with that. It really prints that well that I’m willing to overlook that.

The entire bill of materials with links is in the post at the bottom.


#14

Can you which kind of strong magnet you have been using to actually hold the IncuKit Mini?

Thanks