Steel Conveyor Belt for ABP (raftless)
by Tunell, published
This is a semi-permanent belt for the ABP. It is a derivative of http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7460 by tmartin. Tmartin uses titanium, which would be preferable, but is not widely available in the dimensions needed.
Use steel foil measuring 12" width by .002" thick, you'll need to cut the roll at the final belt width.
I used some steel foil from the local electronics store (Elliots in tucson) where they charged me $1/ft, but this stuff is available from many locations:
Apparently this foil is used for "tool-wrapping" whatever that is...
Steel is a great belt medium because: (borrowed from tmartin)
1) Unlike aluminum foil and paper, it does not normally crinkle and maintains a smooth flat shiny surface unless deliberately creased. It it actually somewhat springy.
2) It is flexible like a sheet of paper and rolls smoothly through the mechanism
3) The coefficient of thermal expansion is much lower than plastic over the temperature ranges used, therefore although the plastic will adhere nicely when hot, when both are cooled the plastic shrinks more than the surface beneath it and pops right off.
4) It is physically extremely tough and will survive a lot of abuse.
5) Not damaged by build platform temperatures.
7) Great for raftless printing
8) Excellent thermal conductivity, gets hot all over.
1) It is NOT chemically inert and will not withstand solvent attack.
2) There will be a seam on the belt which will occasionally leave a (small) line on the bottom of a print
3) Poor adhesion to ABS, must be coated with Kapton tape. Sanding doesn't help.
4) Steel may crease if you are not careful when making the belt.
5) Cannot run the ABP conveyor backwards (as if you would want to)
6) Steel may swell when heated causing a loss of belt tension.
Note: I noticed that the belt works even better and stays even flatter when I added the new countersunk plate to my ABP. This provides just a bit of an edge that the belt must wrap over on the front and back. Plus no more bolt interference. See the pic!
1) Remove your previous belt and cut it open to form a single, flat strip.
2) Build your belt tool which can be used to create more belts of perfect size.
a. Find a stiff cardboard tube (Dougc314 recommends 3" PVC)
b. Wrap 3 strips of duct tape around cardboard tube until you approach correct belt circumference.
c. Finish wrapping with clear packing tape until the plastic belt fits tightly around the tape and edges line up
d. Tool is done (see photo)
3) Using a straight edge and razor blade (on an ugly wood surface) cut a strip of foil from top to bottom. Make the strip slightly narrower than the plastic belt in order to avoid interfering with the bolt heads on the ABP. I first used scissors to cut the strip, but found that it left my edge rippled, which may interfere with prints later on. A razor will leave a flat edge. Your strip should be about 4" x 12"
4) Wrap the strip carefully around the belt tool. Make sure the outer edges line up perfectly and that you have about 1/2" of seam overlap.
5) Tape the seam so the belt is nice and tight on the tool.
6) Wrap Kapton over the metal at a sharp diagonal angle (wider kapton won't require a diagonal.) Make sure to overlap onto the bare packing tape on the sides, this will be trimmed in the next step. When wrapping the Kapton, try to reduce the seams by lining the kapton up carefully with the previous wrap. The tape should be sprialing around your tool leaving small seams between each wrap. Better seams = better prints.
7) With a razor, cut through the tape along the edges of the new belt and pull off the excess Kapton.
8) Slide your belt off the tool. This may be tricky if you made the belt too tight.
9) The new belt should look much like the stock belt. The main difference is the loose flap on the inside of the belt. DO NOT TAPE THIS DOWN. Leaving it loose will allow the belt to slide over the rollers more easily.
10) When mounting on the ABP, make sure this flap is on the top side and pointing towards the rear of the machine. This will keep it from getting caught under the drive rollers. Never run the ABP backwards or this flap may slide behind a roller and ruin the belt.
I've had some success cutting off the inside flap of the belt. If you cut it off completely so that the two edges of the foil are flush, you can kapton-tape over it and have a flap-free belt.
Also, some users have noted that they would like the belt to be tighter. If you want your belt tighter, just use less tape layers on the belt tool. Be careful though, if you go too tight, you will crease the new belt on the drive support nubs when installing it. (this happened to me)
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Steel Conveyor Belt for ABP (raftless) by Tunell is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license.
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