Ultimate Guide to Creality K1 Heated Bed Thermistor

Ultimate Guide to Creality K1 Heated Bed Thermistor

Are you facing temperature fluctuations with your Creality K1 3D printer? The key to accurate temperature control lies in the Creality K1 Heated Bed Thermistor. Understanding how to calibrate and troubleshoot this crucial component is essential for smooth 3D printing operations.

Let’s delve into the details to optimize your printing experience.

Cast Aluminum Heated Bed Upgrade Details

The Creality K1 3D printer comes with a Cast Aluminum Heated Bed Upgrade option that provides a truly flat print surface. Let’s dive into the details:

  1. Heated Bed Specifications:

    • Material: Cast Aluminum (CNC machined from 1/4″ thick ATP5 tooling plates)
    • Size: 235x235mm
    • Flatness Tolerances: Superior to thin, cold-rolled aluminum found on stock Creality beds
    • Thermistor Connector: 2-Pin JST-PH (plug and play for K1 3D printer boards)
    • Heat Source Options:
      • 24V 250W Silicone Heater: Seamless, drop-in upgrade for Creality’s 24V electrical system. Improved warm-up times and heat distribution compared to stock.
        • Voltage: 24V
        • Wattage: 250W
        • Thermistor: Industry standard 100K NTC3950
        • Integrated Thermal Protection Switch: Configured to 150°C
      • 110V 500W Silicone Heater: High-powered option for rapid warm-up times (requires a Solid State Relay or Digital Controller for switching).
        • Voltage: 110V
        • Wattage: 500W
        • Power Density: 6W/sq in.
        • Thermistor: Industry standard 100K NTC3950
        • Integrated Thermal Protection Switch: Configured to 150°C (Warning: Mains electricity is high voltage and extremely dangerous; consult a professional)
    • Weight: 7.4 ounces
  2. Why Choose the Cast Aluminum Heated Bed?

    • CNC machined from thick ATP5 plates, it offers superior flatness compared to stock beds.
    • The integrated thermal protection switch ensures safety by preventing thermal runaway.
    • Made in the USA.

For more information, you can find this upgrade on the Gulfcoast Robotics website.

Comparing Thermistors and Thermometers

Let’s compare thermistors and thermometers:

  1. Thermistor:

    • A thermistor (or thermal resistor) is a type of resistor whose electrical resistance varies with changes in temperature.
    • Unlike standard resistors, thermistors are particularly sensitive to temperature changes.
    • They act as passive components in circuits and are commonly used for temperature measurement.
    • Uses of Thermistors:
      • Digital thermometers (thermostats): Thermistors are widely used to measure temperature in various liquid and ambient air environments.
      • Automotive applications: They measure oil and coolant temperatures in cars and trucks.
      • Household appliances: Microwaves, fridges, and ovens often incorporate thermistors.
      • Circuit protection: Thermistors help with surge protection.
      • Rechargeable batteries: They maintain the correct battery temperature.
      • Basic electronic circuits: Thermistors are part of beginner Arduino starter kits.
      • Temperature compensation: Used to maintain resistance and compensate for temperature effects in other parts of a circuit.
      • Wheatstone bridge circuits: Thermistors play a role in these circuits.
    • How Does a Thermistor Work:
      • The working principle of a thermistor is that its resistance depends on temperature.
      • By measuring the thermistor’s resistance, we can derive its temperature.
      • The relationship between temperature and resistance is non-linear.
      • Types of Thermistors:
        • Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) Thermistor: In NTC thermistors, resistance decreases as temperature increases.
        • Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) Thermistor: In PTC thermistors, resistance increases with temperature.
  2. Thermometer:

    • A thermometer is a device that measures temperature or a temperature gradient (the degree of hotness or coldness of an object).
    • It does not directly use electrical resistance like a thermistor.
    • Thermometers come in various types, including mercury-in-glass, digital, infrared, and bimetallic thermometers.
    • They are commonly used for medical purposes, weather monitoring, cooking, and industrial applications.
    • Unlike thermistors, which are passive components, thermometers actively sense and display temperature.

In summary, while both thermistors and thermometers serve temperature measurement purposes, their underlying principles and applications differ. Thermistors are sensitive resistors with varying resistance, while thermometers directly measure temperature using various methods.

The image shows a thermistor on the left and a thermocouple on the right, with text stating that both are heat-sensitive devices whose resistance value varies with temperature.

IMG Source: theengineeringknowledge.com

Installation Process for Creality K1 Heated Bed Thermistor

Let’s walk through the installation process for the Creality K1 Heated Bed Thermistor. Proper installation ensures accurate temperature readings and reliable performance. Here are the steps:

  1. Unboxing and Inspection:

    • Begin by unboxing your Creality K1 3D printer and inspecting all components.
    • Ensure that you have the thermistor and necessary tools ready.
  2. Locate the Thermistor Position:

    • The thermistor is typically attached to the heated bed or the hotend assembly.
    • Refer to your printer’s user manual or documentation to identify the exact location.
  3. Disconnect Power:

    • Before proceeding, turn off your 3D printer and unplug it from the power source.
    • Safety first!
  4. Remove the Old Thermistor (if applicable):

    • If you’re replacing an existing thermistor, gently disconnect it from the wiring.
    • Take note of its position and orientation.
  5. Install the New Thermistor:

    • Attach the new thermistor to the designated spot.
    • Secure it using the provided screws or clips.
    • Ensure proper alignment and contact with the heated bed or hotend.
  6. Wiring Connection:

    • Connect the thermistor wires to the corresponding terminals on the control board.
    • Follow the color-coding (usually red and black) or refer to the manual for specific instructions.
    • Use crimp connectors or solder the wires if needed.
  7. Calibration and Testing:

    • Power on your 3D printer.
    • Access the printer’s menu or control interface.
    • Navigate to the temperature settings and verify that the thermistor readings are accurate.
    • If necessary, adjust the temperature offset in the firmware settings.
  8. Secure Wiring:

    • Bundle the thermistor wires neatly and secure them using cable ties or clips.
    • Avoid any strain on the wires near moving parts.
  9. Final Checks:

    • Double-check all connections and ensure there are no loose wires.
    • Confirm that the thermistor is functioning correctly during a test print.
  10. Refer to the User Manual:

    • For detailed instructions and specific diagrams, consult the official Creality K1 User Manual.
    • It provides comprehensive guidance on assembly, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

For additional resources, you can also explore the Ultimate Guide to Creality Ender-3 V3 KE Heated Bed Thermistor. Although it’s for a different model, some principles may apply.

: Creality K1 User Manual
: Ultimate Guide to Creality Ender-3 V3 KE Heated Bed Thermistor

A photo of a 3D printer heat bed on a table, surrounded by various tools and supplies.

IMG Source: ytimg.com

Fine-Tuning Thermistor Calibration

Calibrating Thermistors for Accurate Temperature Readings

Thermistors are commonly used to measure temperature in applications that require high accuracy. These sensors change resistance as their temperature varies, following a predictable but non-linear pattern. To achieve precise temperature readings, thermistor calibration is essential.

Let’s explore how to fine-tune thermistor calibration for accurate results:

  1. Understanding Thermistor Calibration:

    • Thermistors provide higher accuracy than thermocouples or RTDs due to their predictable resistance-temperature relationship.
    • The Steinhart-Hart equation is commonly used to convert thermistor resistance to temperature. It yields more precise readings across the sensor’s temperature range.
  2. Steinhart-Hart Coefficients:

    • The Steinhart-Hart equation is defined as follows:
      [ T = \\frac{1}{A + B \\cdot \\ln® + C \\cdot (\\ln®)^3} ]

      • (T) represents temperature (in kelvins).
      • (R) represents the resistance at temperature (T) (in ohms).
      • (A), (B), and (C) are the Steinhart-Hart coefficients specific to your thermistor model and temperature range.
      • The natural logarithm function (\\ln) is used.
    • Manufacturers may provide typical coefficient values, but self-calibration is necessary for better accuracy.
  3. Deriving Coefficients:

    • Obtain three accurate resistance values at known temperatures (e.g., ice water, boiling water, room temperature).
    • Use these resistance-temperature pairs to solve for the coefficients:
      • Example data:
        • Resistance ((\\Omega)) | Temperature (°C)
          • 25415 | 5
          • 10021 | 25
          • 6545 | 35
      • Derived coefficients:
        • (A = 1.1384 \\times 10^{-3})
        • (B = 2.3245 \\times 10^{-4})
        • (C = 9.489 \\times 10^{-8})
  4. Practical Methods:

    • Measure resistance at known temperatures using a standard meter.
    • Use an accurate temperature measurement standard (e.g., ice bath or boiling water) to calibrate.
    • Some data loggers allow you to input coefficients directly for automatic temperature conversion.

Remember that thermistor calibration ensures accurate temperature readings, especially when using the Steinhart-Hart equation. If you have specific data points, you can use online calculators or spreadsheet tools to derive the coefficients

A line graph showing the relationship between temperature and voltage.

IMG Source: mstarlabs.com

Troubleshooting Creality K1 Thermistor Temperature Fluctuations

When dealing with Creality K1 thermistor temperature fluctuations, there are several steps you can take to diagnose and potentially resolve the issue:

  1. Check Thermistor Connection:

    • Ensure that the thermistor terminal wire is properly plugged in when the nozzle is heated.
    • Verify that the ceramic heating block/thermistor wire of the nozzle is not loose or incorrectly inserted.
    • Inspect for any broken or cracked solder joints on the wires of the ceramic heating ring at the hot end.
    • Confirm that the heated nozzle is securely attached.
  2. Inspect the Temperature Sensor:

    • Sometimes, the temperature sensor itself can be faulty. If you suspect this, consider replacing it.
    • In some cases, a bad temperature sensor can cause erratic temperature readings and fluctuations.
  3. Thermal Paste Under the Heater:

    • By default, all K1 hotends come with thermal paste applied under the ceramic heater to aid in heat conduction.
    • However, the stock thermal paste may dry out over time, leading to performance reduction and heating errors.
    • Consider replacing the thermal paste under the heater to improve heat transfer.
  4. Motor and Extruder Tube Inspection:

    • Unlock the motor by clicking OFF on the control interface.
    • Gently pull out the PTFE tube from the top of the extruder to expose the material.
    • Set the nozzle temperature to the material’s printing temperature and wait for it to stabilize.
  5. Avoid Overtightening:

    • When installing a new nozzle, be cautious not to overtighten the brass piece that houses the nozzle where the sensors are attached.
    • Over-tightening can cause issues, including temperature-related problems.

A graph showing extruder, bed, chamber, and MCU temperatures over time.

IMG Source: redd.it

In conclusion, the Creality K1 Heated Bed Thermistor plays a vital role in maintaining consistent temperatures during 3D printing. By following proper installation procedures, calibrating the thermistor accurately, and troubleshooting any issues effectively, you can ensure precise temperature readings and optimal printing performance. Remember, attention to detail and regular maintenance of the thermistor are key factors in achieving top-notch printing results with your Creality K1 printer.


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