I’m based in the north of Scotland. In the winter my place doesn’t half get cold (think farmhouse cottage in the middle of nowhere) and so I pretty much have to have the heating on even during the day to keep the temperature within the suitable range.
I remembered there was a thread fairly recently where someone was using an egg incubator heater to keep the internals of their printer nice and warm. I liked the solution but not the price as the shipping to the UK cost as much as the unit. I also wasn’t a fan of the fan. With the mirrors being so delicate I didn’t want to potentially blow dust around the internals.
So I had a look into a solution with the following criteria,
- It had to have feedback and be able to measure the temperature so that the temperature doesn’t run away and take the printer to dangerous temperatures
- It had to be able to be easily fitted and removed without any damage to the printer. I also didn’t want to have to modify the printer at all should a return for warranty reasons be required.
- It should be a passive system rather than forced with a fan to reduce the potential for dust causing issues on the mirrors.
- It must not impact on the operation of the printer
- Cost should be nice and cheap
So after all that and a bit of research I came across some units from china on ebay that are able to measure temperature and switch on a relay when the temperature drops to a set point. It then switches off around 2 degrees celsius above this. So combining this unit with a 50w silicon heat pad I am able to rig up a very basic unit that will measure the temperature and heat up the printer chamber when it drops down too low.
The unit is still somewhat of a prototype with the heat pad being fixed to a heatsink I had kicking around in the garage. I have another on the way that should do the job far better. I also plan on printing a small stand to sit it properly at the rear. The cables are tucked along the hinge side of the printer and don’t get in the way of the print mechanism and the whole thing can be easily removed. Total cost was around £25 from ebay including the new heat sink that’s on the way.
Sources for parts for UK. All operate at 240V but there are 110V variants for those across the pond and in other places.
I’ll post more pictures once the unit is up and running properly but initial tests are very promising. I am considering looking at fans with some form of filtration but that will require a bit more research and planning