Heated Bed

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Revision as of 10:11, 25 January 2010 by Casainho (talk | contribs) (Added some ideas for firmware.)
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Heated bed

Release status: unknown

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documenting a generic tool/artpiece
CAD Models
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A heated bed helps greatly to avoid the warp problems and permits the print without using raft!

There had been some good results using ABS and PLA on it. Here are some links of tests made with results:

Please verify all the information on this page, looking on the many blog messages about this subject over Internet.

We started a discussion on forum with the goal to start gathering ideas and help for make the heated bed. Please discuss there.

Technical details

We should use kapton tape on top of the heated bed, since hot extruded plastic sticks very well to it and also it's easy to peel off the piece from it in the end of print, without damage the piece and the kapton tape.

The tested temperature values for the heated bed are 220ºC for ABS plastic and 55ºC for PLA plastic. Bed should be heated to that temperature values before starting printing and keep that values during printing. The first layer should be printed at a slower speed, like 3mm/s.

Mechanical construction

Heated bed can be build using a flat aluminium sheet of 6mm. It needs to be flat and be aluminium because it is a very good conductor, so the heat will be even across the whole bed with only a few heating elements.

Heated be should be insulated on bottom side, maybe using foam board. Also it should use insulating stand-offs.

Electric construction

For power the bed, you should use a PC PSU that can output at least 10A @ 12V. If you need more power on your bed than you need more power input and vice-versa.

The heated elements can be nichrome wire or power resistors. Nichrome wire is cheaper and takes less space.

There electronic control circuit [NOT TESTED YET] can be the following one. It uses a Arduino to read temperature from a sensor e turn on/off one power mosfet. Target and current temperature values can be seen on a LCD. Target temperature can be selected using three buttons.

Temperature sensor

The TSIC101 is source with +5V from Arduino board. It outputs a linear voltage between 0 and 1 volt, 0 volt for -50ºC and 1 volt for 150ºC.

Ardunio can be configured to have an ADC voltage reference of 1.1V, which means it can read steps of 1.1V/10bits ~= 1mV.

Since TSIC101 outputs 5mV for each 1ºC, Arduino will be able to measure each step of 0.2ºC (TSIC101 resolution is 0.1ºC).

We may not let the TSIC101 going over 140ºC for his safety, since 150ºC is the maximum.

Power mosfet

The power mosfet FDB8880 is rated for maximum VDss of 30V, which means it can cut at least 24V, however we will be using 12V. It can cut also as maximum 11A if have a good dissipation.

It is controlled by Arduino digital 6 which can output a PWM signal of +5V.

The diode D1 is a protection against any possible voltage surges because of commuting the heater element.


More info on Arduino LCD page.


The three buttons let user select the target temperature. More functionalities can be added to firmware and use these three buttons to navigate on menus, for example.

The Arduino have pull-up resistors that should be enable for the buttons working correctly.


The LED can be used to signal something to user. It is a 20mA LED with 2V Vf.


  • There is no need to implement PID control on firmware, but it can be done.
  • Last temperature values inputed by user should be saved on EEPROM, so user do not need to input it again.
  • There could be a few profiles (with temperature value changed by user), one for each kind of plastic, like for ABS target temperature = 120ºC and PLA target temperature = 55ºC.
  • Maybe a cool down slope is important, like let user define how much time the bed should take to go from target temperature to final one.


Schematic source files for KiCad.

Schematic: Reprap-heated bed.png