Upgrade: new print-bed in aluminum honeycomb

This is my quick talk about the new “ultralight-superflat-nondeformable-honeycomb-aircraft aluminium” print-bed available on the WASP official website store.

Print-bed honeycomb

Honeycomb structure of the new aluminium print-bed

If you are interested in this upgrade you’ll require:

SKILL: having the opposable thumb…
TIME: 30 minutes
TOOLS: screwdriver
WHAT YOU NEED: 1 Aluminium Y Axis Print-bed, 1 Protective film (optional) 

More or less a month ago my printer has been upgraded with this brand new print-bed that replaced the original plywood one.
It’s made of an aluminum alveolar plane that in the hands feels really ultralight, actually I didn’t weighted it but it’s waaaayyyy lighter than the previous one and at the same time it also feels solid and durable.

Dimension are exactly the same of my previous panel (a generous 30 x 25 cm) and it only took a few minutes to complete the upgrade. There is no modification that you have to do to your printer, just remove the four screws that secure the panel to the left and right slides and the remaining screw that connect the print-bed to the Y belt that now can be removed. Replace it with the new one and secure it back with the five screws. The height of the two print-beds are almost identical but it’s a good idea to check the distance of your hot end to the print surface to make sure it’s just at the right height on all four corners of the print-bed. A perfectly flat panel it’s a key factor to obtain good prints and especially a good adhesion of the first layers. This is very important considering that the panel it’s not heated and therefore a solid grip on the surface it’s even more important.
To protect the surface and “hide” the alveolar structure, visible on the side of the panel, Wasp suggest to “wrap” it with a protective film that’s also useful to to smooth the five screw heads surface on the print-bed.

Print-bed with protective film

Print-bed with protective film

My previous print-bed wasn’t perfectly flat, it had a little height difference between the mid points and the external ones… I mean.. just a fraction of millimeter, but enough to have some small inaccuracies printing pieces of great size. The new panel it’s fantastic and it removed this “problem” brilliantly.
I immediately noticed a more consistent distance of the hot end all over the print area, this will for sure help a lot to get a better first layers, thus a better print!
Some print test I took after the upgrade made me think that, because of the highly reduced weight of the new print-bed (read as reduced inertia), the overall precision also improved, especially in the backslash “area” 😉
The printer worked perfectly even before this new component, so I’m not talking about huge changes, but still tangible improvements that you can actually see.
Another benefit I noticed it’s that I can now push with confidence some more!! speed in my prints and the POWERWASP is handling it even easier than before.
I think that it’s a nice upgrade if you feel like you want to add some more “hassle free” overhall precision to your printer that doesn’t require any special “software calibration” or whatever… Just replace the print-bed, check the height of your hot-end on the surface and print.
Very easy, really effective.

I’m thinking about how it could be used as a hot bed as well.. there are some consideration I have in mind, but let’s keep them for a future post!

If you have any experience you want to share you are more than welcome as always!

Categories: 3D Printer, Improvements | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Upgrade: new print-bed in aluminum honeycomb

  1. Excellent post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Many thanks!

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