JGAurora A5 – Ultimate Upgrade – So close…

As with most 3D printers the time comes when something goes out, in the case of my Aurora A5 it has been the heatbed for the second time, for the same reason. Instead of dealing with the headache of getting a replacement that would just do the same thing in a year, I decided to take matters into my own hands…

With the success I had upgrading my Anet A8 to the silicone heating element under the aluminum build plate, I thought about applying that to the Aurora A5 and with the help of Amazon and this little goodie:

It shouldn’t be a problem…. except, there is a problem… I got the wrong part…. if you click on that image above and go check it out you’ll see that this is 120v like it says on the mat itself. I need either 12v or 24 so now I need a SSR and a couple of fuses which I will have to order this weekend.

So close, but yet so far. The JGAurora is my second most expensive printer coming in at $500 give or take, so investing a little into it is worth it. I’m hopeful though.

One thing of note that I did have to do was go down and buy some longer M3 bolts for the bed springs to allow for proper clearance of the mat. Yes I will lose like 2mm of vertical print space but I can’t think of a time I’ve ever come that close to needing it so no worries.

So keep an eye out for the resurrection of the Aurora A5 and the first print with the new heating element.

UPDATE 12-21-20: This is actually a little late but the upgrade is complete and OMG why didn’t they build it like this to start with ?!?!?

From what I’ve read it’s called something like “power from the mains” because the heat bed is now directly wired to the power supply. There’s a Solid State Relay that helps get power to the silicone pad and when you heat this thing up it only takes a matter of seconds before you’re printing. No more waiting 3-5 minutes for the bed to heat up, literally, no more than 30 seconds.

The only modifications I had to make were non-invasive. The first of which was to raise the bed up so that the silicone mat could be applied to the underside, directly to the existing heating plate which was disconnected and connector removed. There’s a small hump on the silicone mat that you need to make room for but there’s plenty of travel on the bed screws to bring it up for clearance.

To accommodate for the raised bed, instead of screwing with the software, I just went to the right hand pillar and inside is the Zed end stop which is used for homing the hot end. Raise it up to your desired level, adjust the bed, and you’re done. No messing with settings or anything.

Some people have suggested that you need to go in and adjust settings, I didn’t really understand why so I tried printing with it as is and have had no problems. It prints perfectly, the heat is constant and consistent over the entire build plate, and I am very pleased to have this large investment back up and running. Despite having made the jump to SLA printers, this is by far my largest FDM printer and I use ot for things like terrain, armor pieces and props that are too big for the SLA printers to handle. Matter of fact, this past week I’ve been running some 14 hour long prints to crank out some Warhammer 40K Tyrannid terrain for my wife’s army.

As with any upgrade, be careful, pay attention to it, don’t leave it unsupervised until you are 100% sure it’s safe and working properly. Safety First !!!

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