Save Heat Energy Printing PLA During Summer Months

I designed a coffee table but I dreaded printing parts for it as I didn’t want to create a heat source in my living space during the early dog days of summer. The parts were to be printed on my Prusa MK3s+. The power supply unit (PSU) was on the outside of the enclosure I am building for the printer and I have noticed that it often becomes practically too hot to touch.

My thoughts were that I would need to run the air conditioner more frequently to counter the heat emanating from the PSU and the heat bed. I was considering delaying printing parts until the fall when I remembered that the heat bed wasn’t needed for printing PLA. I wondered if the heat radiating from the PSU would be lower if the heat bed was off.

First, I ran a test with a tiny cube to see if it would stick well to the bed without heat. That test was successful, so I started printing the bottom portion of the coffee table. I was delighted to learn that the print stuck to the plate and that printing did not increase the temperature in my living space. The video shows the sixth coffee table part being printed without heat.

I have tried this method on the borosilicate glass bed of my CR10 mini, but it did not work. Sometimes, I need to add glue stick to the heated bed in order for a print to remain stationary. If nonsticking becomes chronic, I replace the glass.

Glue stick leaves a residue that does not wash off. Since the bottom of the coffee table parts will not be seen, glue stick can be used.

No bed heat setting in Prusa
No bed heat setting in Cura

Update/Correction July 2, 2022

After printing another project with Kyuubi silk silver filament on the PEI bed, I was able to remove the glue stick residue with 70% alcohol on a cotton ball. Attempts to remove glue stick residue in the past from prints made on glass plates and heated beds have been unsuccessful.

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