I do not yet have my A350 yet, but I was thinking about this a bit during a recent review of the specs… As a future change for the A250 and A350 hardware (Snapmaker 2.1 or an upgrade kit?) I would recommend allowing the firmware to selectively heat sections of the build plate. While the overall build area is awesome I think the vast majority of my prints will not come close to making full use of it and larger ones will usually be predominantly in one direction. So to save power, being able to have the bed broken up into 9 sections or so that can be individually heated based on the size of the print would be a useful improvement.
Brilliant idea. Imagine if the firmware could detect from the gcode the build size to only heat that area and a narrow surrounding area.
I think from a logistics point of view it would be tough to be extremely selective about the area. Yes, it should be able to know exactly how much would be needed from the gcode, but the problem is how would it heat just that area. If you segment the bed too much it makes for a whole bunch of potential failure points as each would need a relay or similar to control the power going to each little section. Splitting into a 3x3 set of areas (say, ~110mm each) for an A350 does sound feasible though. Using a similar size as the basis would put the A250 at 2x2. Most prints (since most people are coming from substantially smaller printers) will probably fit in the very center (of an A350) with some needing 2 or more sections to be heated. In some cases, sure it could heat the whole thing. But if it can cut the power usage to 1/9 of what the bed will currently use for most jobs (or even just to 1/4)? I think people might be happy with that.
Not sure of any way to easily break up power distribution even more without it become overly complicated and increasing the potential problems quite a bit.
depends on the granularity of a heating matrix (number of grid areas) and the grids that could be selected for heating. Don’t let thoughts of technology stop you… it is a great idea… and someone will come up with a solution. Even just three areas, that you could select from e.g.
Yes. Something like that or a grid method. It also depends on whether it is more efficient to always print in the center of the bed once you start getting to these sizes, or if it would make sense for the printers to print towards the front edge. Or when I print multiple objects at a time (in the past it has only been for small parts obviously) I usually do them in a grid. Change my grid pattern to be more of a rentangle and maybe I only need to heat 2 or 3 sections…
A single control cable could pass more than enough information to a microcontroller at the bed that would then control 3 or more relays for the power to the various areas. Not even much of a technological hurdle for control. In fact, other than determining how many sections to break it up into I do not see any real hurdles at all. Is there something I am missing?
The only thing missing is the take-up of this suggestion by Snapmaker
Keep having fun
Now a days it should be possible to produce an intelligent heated bed witch heats only the brim area.
I have a large bed (417 x 417mm) that has a central and outer heating zone but it is too wide to fit on the A350.