Author: Botmaster, published on 2013-08-26
I am still trying to understand the Black Art of 3D printing. One thing that I have noticed is the build cabinet temperature makes a huge difference to the flatness of a PLA print. So I have been keeping it at 28-35C and getting great results. Looking for something to make I decided to modify the rear name plate on the build platform to incorporate a digital thermometer. The unit I am using can be found on EBay for A$4-5 and is sold as a fish tank thermometer. Hope someone else finds it useful.
I found that the original design could get in the way of the gantry when you were leveling the build plate. I have reworked the whole back plate to help this problem. Tilting the LCD backwards also make it easier to read.
I use sailfish on my Makerbot so the bed leveling script is different (you move the head by hand) to the standard Makerbot script that moves the print head to preset positions. I believe that this may still cause some issues, please test your setup with this in mind. Normal print operations will not be affected by this back plate.
Not rocket science. Print, test fit the unit and replace the old back plate with your new bit of bling. If you are feeling brave you can open the unit before installation and shorten the probe lead to about 100 mm also a small amount of silicone will hold the probe in place if you find it too lose. Try not to glue the unit in place as you will have to remove it to change battery at some stage. Place some tape over the back of the plate and thermometer just to make sure that the leads do not get caught in the Z axis threaded rod as it turns. You may need to use a 4mm drill to ease the hole for the probe I have included a photo of the unit you need to look for on Ebay.