Heated fixture plate

In my limited experience with fixture wax, I’ve learned two things:

  1. I really enjoy cutting with the wax.
  2. I really despise setting up to cut with the wax.

Heating everything to ~200f is just an annoying pain. Of course I’ve only been using an 18v battery powered heat gun…so a lot of this annoyance is just me using the wrong tool for the job.

Still, if something is worth doing, it’s worth over doing. So the plan is to chuck a few heater cartridges (like those found in 3D printer hotends) in a nice big piece of mic6 and make a nice little interface to control the whole thing.

Couple of requirements:

  1. Make sure it is easy to connect/disconnect. I don’t really want to cut through a live wire running a few hundred watts.
  2. Cheap and easy. The logic should run happily off of a little micro controller.
  3. Reliable. My biggest concern here is power. Luckily I’ve got a very nice 500 watt power supply from a long dead computer laying around. Should be able to break out all of the necessary voltages for both the heaters and the logic very easily.
  4. Self contained. I just want to plug the thing into power and hit a button or two. Hell, I might just buy an off the shelf pod temp controller and make a nice little box for it.

I might think about insulating the jig from the nomad table, just to keep from bleeding excess heat and causing a bunch of small heat related movements. We’ll see if it’s worth the effort.

Anyway, that’s all. Just in the idea stage but feel free to chime in you like :slightly_smiling_face:

Can you share a practical application that illustrates how you are using the wax?

I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where the wax needs to be heated on the machine.
The only times I’ve used wax it was either molded into blocks using a conventional oven or hot plate.
Or if being used to fill delicate features on a part, melted outside the machine & poured or painted on the part.

This wax is used for work holding, so one puts some shavings on the machine — applies heat (usually a heat gun), if need be spreads w/ a spatula, then sticks the part in place — so long as feeds and speeds are right and the part doesn’t heat up, it stays in place.

That’s what I was thinking, like this guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18BvQOV9cV8
But that is easily melted off the machine, then just brushed or poured.

I can imagine heating the job/fixture allows better penetration than painting onto a cold job/table.

If you are doing this type of work all the time a heated fixture plate seems practical. Although you do have to let it cool before cutting.

Yeah the cooling might be a bit annoying, time will tell how annoying.
It could be cool to build in some little cooling fans and cut some fins in the fixture. Turn it into a crappy heat sink :sweat_smile:

My first idea was to use a peltier and just reverse the polarity when I wanted to cool it but that would likely be problematic for a host of reasons :yum:

So I’ll just have to leverage one of the most hard to come by resources for the cooling: Patience :melting_face:

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