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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Bodge Alert, but it melts plastic!!!

I ended the last post saying that I needed to try out the heating.  Of course this wasn't going to be something I leave for very long.

I am using an old lab power supply that I was given by someone on FreeCycle a while back.  I didn't expect it to make the grade as the ammeter only goes to 4 amps.  I did try it however, but no such luck.  I then went to dig out the various old PC power supplies I had stashed away in the garage and found this handy article on the web.

My power supplies are all AT, not ATX, but I grabbed the one with the highest power rating and decided to try it out.  Reading the article I realised that I needed a decent load resistor which I couldn't find on any of the scrap electronics boards (mostly out of old printers or PCs) I have (I'm not very good at electronics so didn't know what I could use instead.).

I decided to try the supply without a load resistor, but that didn't work, so I then opted for the other trick mentioned in the article which talks about using an automotive bulb.  I happened to have an old 2CV headlight lying around looking for a job, so roped it in.  As you will see from the pictures, this really is a bodge.  Don't do as I do! (i.e. Kids, don't try this at home).

I will tidy this all up later, but I couldn't wait to see if it worked.  What I can tell is this.  My LEDs on the heated bed PCB don't work, but the bed does heat up.  Also, the extruder works.  My first bit of melted plastic is pictured below.  Now I really am motivated to sort this out.  I have Friday afternoon off, so hope to be printing by the end of the weekend!!!

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