Upgrading acrylic 3D printer components with cladding (ACM)

With the prices of 3D printers coming down, manufacturers are using acrylic to cut the costs of parts. The problem with acrylic parts is that they flex and break. In order to get a stiffer print bed we thought we would try replacing the acrylic bed mount with one made of aluminium composite cut out on a CNC router using a 3.175mm up spiral bit.

Old acrylic bed (left) next to new CNC cut aluminium composite bed (right).

Surprisingly the aluminium composite bed was much lighter. There is still some flex in the bed, but less flex than the acrylic.

With the bed leveled, we tried out the new set up by printing bearing spacers for the belt idlers (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2023435).

Finished spacers.