Building Rostock 3D printer (part 2 – prep work)

After taking a cursory look at the instruction manual, I got the impression that for me, the assembly problems would be in the initial prep work.  More on this in a few paragraphs…

Prep work consists in assembling the hot end, heating plate and power supply.

First, the hot end assembly.  Technically, it could have been done later but since it needs a drying time (24 hours), it should be dealt with first.

Assembly consists in inserting a couple of resistors in specially made pockets and cover them with RTV paste.  It also involves gluing a thermistor on this element using the same RTV paste.

The RTV paste is a heat conductor and it ensures the best transfer of the resistor’s heat to the heating element.   You want to make sure that there are no air bubbles in the paste… It should be paste through and through so that there is the least amount of heat dissipation as possible.  Not sure what the best way is for this.  The way I did it was to put a lot of paste in,  I also spun the resistors when I put them in… My hope is that this will break any air bubble formation… might be wrong on this.  (I’m looking in getting a thermometer to verify if I did a good job with this)

You can see on the following picture the two resistors (the leads) on the edges of the hot end.  The thermistor is glued in the middle.

This is where things get a little bit tougher… It involves soldering… I’m a software guy… 😦   That being said, there’s nothing quite complex here.  Once again, there’s a thermistor to glue in the middle of the plate.  There’s a resistor and a led too.  The only thing that was a little bit more difficult was the plate’s connector themselves.  The heating plate is quite good a dissipating heat so “tinning” it was a little bit more difficult.  On a  recommendation from a colleague, I preheated the plate a little bit (put it in the oven at low heat)…  It seems to have helped but I’m unsure if I would recommend doing this.  In any case, after this step, the heating looked as follows:

The power supply assembly was quite easy.  I think that SeeMeCNC was previously using an ATX power supply.  You had to cut a few wires from it.  The new power supply is quite nice.  It has a back panel that’s easy to wire in… and no connectors to remove.   The power supply is low profile and seems sturdy enough.  Quite happy with it.

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