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  1. #1

    Increasing Build plate size?

    I've been looking for a way to increase the build area for my Flashforge Creator, but I can't find a larger heating bed on the Flashforge site. Are there any products out there that would work, or is there a way I can increase it on my own?

    Thanks, Elijah

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    I would replace their board with a RAMPS board first, as that will allow you to really mess with the firmware and not worry about screwing up your original board, just put it in a box safe somewhere, rebuild your machine using the firmware so to speak, the machine is built you just need to re-wire it accordingly and it is pretty easy, this would then allow you to choose the size of the hotbed. The FF use reasonably custom mainboard, and personally the tutorials for RAMPS and repraps far exceed the FF mainboard tutorials, so if you want a smooth ride, i'd do the above.

    Just be aware,, the bigger the hotbed and bigger heating element, the more current it will draw, so just make sure your power supply is rated to draw that many amps + what you are already running. Some of the power supplies are at the bare minimum needed to run the printer, so adding extra things can also require a new power supply. The flashforge should be fine to add a 20cmx20cm hotbed to no worries without changing supplies.

    something like this is all you need really to upgrade it (just the RAMPS, drivers and mega board, the endstops are not required of course)

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/3D-Printe...item1c3c4b1f46

    and of course your heatbed

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yes you can increase it on your own. Without rebuilding anything or changing your motherboard. Sometimes geoff overlooks the easy - ducttape world - option because the hard option is easy for him :-)

    Bear in mind that the whole width of the of the machine is not used because the specs are given so that both heads can reach everywhere on the build plate.

    All you need to do is drop a wider plate (3mm glass or aluminium would be fine) onto the existing one and use a cold bed plastic like nylon, pet, pla etc. you can then use the right head to just print stuff on the right and the left head to print on the left.
    I haven't measured it but I reckon another 5-6 inches of width would be easily achievable.
    Not sure if it'll print with more depth. But you could probably squeeze a bit more depth out if you wanted to.
    Easy way to check is to move the printhead as far forward as it'll go and see if it's gone past the end of the printbed, if it does then there's your extra print depth :-)

    That's the easy bit. The hard bit is getting the software to use the new width of the build plate.
    I suspect you'd need to start using a fullly compatible 3rd party software like simplify 3d. Not sure if makerware or repg will let you designate a larger printing area.

    Proftweak might.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 09-24-2014 at 06:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    yes you can increase it on your own. Without rebuilding anything or changing your motherboard. Sometimes geoff overlooks the easy - ducttape world - option because the hard option is easy for him :-)

    Bear in mind that the whole width of the of the machine is not used because the specs are given so that both heads can reach everywhere on the build plate.

    All you need to do is drop a wider plate (3mm glass or aluminium would be fine) onto the existing one and use a cold bed plastic like nylon, pet, pla etc. you can then use the right head to just print stuff on the right and the left head to print on the left.
    I haven't measured it but I reckon another 5-6 inches of width would be easily achievable.
    Not sure if it'll print with more depth. But you could probably squeeze a bit more depth out if you wanted to.
    Easy way to check is to move the printhead as far forward as it'll go and see if it's gone past the end of the printbed, if it does then there's your extra print depth :-)

    That's the easy bit. The hard bit is getting the software to use the new width of the build plate.
    I suspect you'd need to start using a fullly compatible 3rd party software like simplify 3d. Not sure if makerware or repg will let you designate a larger printing area.

    Proftweak might.


    The printing area in your machine is designated by the firmware, which replicator G talks to and sorts out your build area from that, so no there is no actual way in replicator G, short from manually editing the Gcode (which is a futile effort for me)

    Getting your build plate on there and in position is the easy part yeah move some endstops around, shift a few things, a 20x20 build plate fits well within that case but the problem is the limits just wont let you go there with a dual head machine, I imagine thats why the plate is not a standard plate on a flashforge, its 22cm wide to account for the extra width needed to make the second head print at each edge.

    A dual carriage extruder is (well, mine is) 8.62cm wide, when in reality an extruder is only as wide as the stepper motor, or needs to be, and thats about 4cm.

    This is alot of wasted space if you are not using dual extrusion, and as I said - when the head gets to the left edge, it needs to allow the right hand extruder to make it that far and vice versa on the other side.

    The only thing really that would need to be done is the Y axis, the X should be fine already for 20x20 plates

    Well, I think I might have a go at this myself, ive done half of it already I'd just need to get the endstops moved now as its still setup for the original plate.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    you can't run a 20x20. The 15cm depth is the physical max. If you physicaly move the carriage to the front of the case - the extruder nozzles are bang on the edge of the plate. There's no wiggle room there.

    But you could run a 30x15 plate with no problem. Like i said you just need to print right with right and left with left.
    Short of actually making the case bigger and moving the guide rails - there's no other way to do it.
    Well you could refit it with a single extruder assembly I suppose.
    Which would give you the 30x15 for the one head. Make life slightly easier.
    But as the design stands you'd need a total rebuild you get any more y or z capacity.

    End stops don't need to be moved.

    But the hard part is always going to be getting the software to use the larger build plate.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    you can't run a 20x20. The 15cm depth is the physical max. If you physicaly move the carriage to the front of the case - the extruder nozzles are bang on the edge of the plate. There's no wiggle room there.

    But you could run a 30x15 plate with no problem. Like i said you just need to print right with right and left with left.
    Short of actually making the case bigger and moving the guide rails - there's no other way to do it.
    Well you could refit it with a single extruder assembly I suppose.
    Which would give you the 30x15 for the one head. Make life slightly easier.
    But as the design stands you'd need a total rebuild you get any more y or z capacity.

    End stops don't need to be moved.

    But the hard part is always going to be getting the software to use the larger build plate.
    You are right, Flashforge machines are crap for upgrading, short from pulling it apart and adding longer rods, longer belts etc.

    If you want to tinker you are better off getting a prusa or similar.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    lol - didn't buy mine to rebuild. Just to use :-)
    But I could still get a 30 cm print out of it, quite easily, if I wanted to.

    Can't see the point till I've got some filament that doesn't warp :-)
    But the option is there.

  8. #8
    Have you guys got any luck with it? I ah designing a part, which is slightly larger than the current build area.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rakesh View Post
    Have you guys got any luck with it? I ah designing a part, which is slightly larger than the current build area.
    Slice it in half (or whatever) in software and print it out in two parts.
    Glue together, problem solved.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    yes you can increase it on your own. Without rebuilding anything or changing your motherboard. Sometimes geoff overlooks the easy - ducttape world - option because the hard option is easy for him :-)

    Bear in mind that the whole width of the of the machine is not used because the specs are given so that both heads can reach everywhere on the build plate.

    All you need to do is drop a wider plate (3mm glass or aluminium would be fine) onto the existing one and use a cold bed plastic like nylon, pet, pla etc. you can then use the right head to just print stuff on the right and the left head to print on the left.
    I haven't measured it but I reckon another 5-6 inches of width would be easily achievable.
    Not sure if it'll print with more depth. But you could probably squeeze a bit more depth out if you wanted to.
    Easy way to check is to move the printhead as far forward as it'll go and see if it's gone past the end of the printbed, if it does then there's your extra print depth :-)

    That's the easy bit. The hard bit is getting the software to use the new width of the build plate.
    I suspect you'd need to start using a fullly compatible 3rd party software like simplify 3d. Not sure if makerware or repg will let you designate a larger printing area.

    Proftweak might.
    Hi can someone help me understand where a 5-6" expansion is possible?
    If I want to print only the right nozzle I can expand the bed and gain the width of the nozzle separation about 1.5 inches on the right side. I can't move the x-stop since itrs close to the y rail.
    On the left side I can gain 1.5" if I only use the left nozzle. I can't move the stop as it is close to the wall.
    So, if I want to gain three inches I would have to split my model into two and have the same filament on each extruder. Seems hardly worth it. If I need extra width it is easier to print twice and glue.

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