The printing bed (or buiding surface) is the physical place where the filament is physically laid and where our creations come to life, can vary in size. Among the smallest we can get to have plates of 10×10 cm up to the largest on the market that are around 40×40 cm, with a maximum spread on 20×20.
A dish can have the option of heating up or not and this affects which filaments we can use.
Many plastic-based filaments need a high plate temperature (up to 120°) to adhere and therefore to allow for error-free printing.
Therefore the plates that remain cold allow the printing of PLA and filaments loaded with PLA base.
The beds that also have the option of heating can accommodate any type of filament. This article explains how to improve adhesion to the printing plate.
These heated beds are responsible for 80% of the power consumption of a printer at full capacity. In fact, they consume from 200w to 500w, against the hot end that normally consumes about 40w.
The heated plate is normally equipped with a “short circuit” that heats and a temperature probe that reads the operation and allows the electronics to dose the power used.
For the record, we must also mention the plates of the “Delta” printers, which are equipped with a round plate. But as a principle of operation it is very similar to the ordinary square/rectangular one.
Good idea, to same some money, is to equip every printing bed with a cotton insulating under printing surface. This will short time to have bed at right temperature also!
When the plate fails, it is better to proceed with the purchase and replacement of the whole piece already equipped with probes and circuits, if you are not an electrical professional. Do-it-yourself work that has no experience in this case could cause damage.
If you feel it, you can also get only heating part and add to alluminium:
The heated Bed is easily available through the most popular electronic markets: