The Printer Bed
The composite printer bed supplied as standard with the Cube is a thick layer of fibreglass with a top layer of special material that makes your print stick whether in ABS, PLA or other material.
with a top layer of special material that makes your print stick whether in ABS, PLA or other material.
Other 3D printers use a heated bed so that ABS prints sticks when it is hot, but releases when cool.
BilbyCNC have found the printout sticks to the bed better than
using a heated bed—but the downside is that releasing the printout can be difficult.
BilbyCNC consider the printer bed to be a wearing part and damage to it’s surface is not
covered under warranty. We suggest the following tips to help you get the maximum life out of your bed.
Printing with PLA—Blue Tape
If you are printing with PLA, blue painters masking tape still seems best at having your print stick during printing, but easily removed when complete.
Apply strips of the tape over your printing area evenly and smoothly. You may find you need to adjust the bed level after applying to allow for the thickness of the tape.
When the tape gets “worn” or damaged. Simply remove the tape and apply new tape.
Printing with ABS—ABS slurry
Acetone is flammable and not good for you—please read the safety precautions on the bottle.
ABS can stick so well to the bed that the bed is damaged when removing your print—this is especially true for prints with a large “footprint” - where the area of plastic directly in contact with the bed is large. We strongly suggest making an ABS “slurry” to apply to your bed.
To make the slurry, put some scrap ABS filament in Acetone in a safe container such as a glass jar (acetone will dissolve many plastics). It is freely available, try your local hardware store.
The filament will dissolve over a few hours to form a liquid. Acetone is normally very runny—like water. The resulting liquid can be very thick, but you want to keep it runny. It will dry almost instantly, so you want to err on the runny side, any excess will evaporate. Just add more acetone if required.
Use some folded paper towel to dip in the slurry and wipe across the bed, getting it as smooth and even as possible. It will dry almost instantly.
The layer you’ve just created will stick very well to the bed, and your print will stick well to it. In some ways it creates a sacrificial layer between the bed and printout. It will be the weakest point if you need to use a spatula to remove the print, so neither the bed or your printout are damaged. Simply reapply the slurry when it gets damaged or scraped off. You can remove the layer with paper towel and acetone if you require.
Temperatures and Feed Rates
The MBot Cube and Cube 2 are based on the open source Makerbot designs and software for the Replicator 1.
It works well with a special version of the ReplicatorG software, which takes into account the different size, offsets and setup of the Cube.
Please read our accompanying sheet on preparing the printer bed before printing.
The Cube is not the fastest of printers, but it has the advantage that you can experiment with the setting in the ReplicatorG software. We have found the following settings advantageous when used with the standard, BilbyCNC or nylon type filaments
We have set up a MBot section on our solutions and support forum online and will continue to post articles and information there for our customers.
Both are accessable by going to :
www.BilbyCNC.com.au and clicking SUPPORT