December 15, 2014 AT 7:00 am

Printable circuit board re-defines the term PCB


Thanks to Brandon for sending in this great example of the crossover between 3D printing and electronics. Check out more here.

Redefining the term PCB – from “printed circuit board” to “printable circuit board” !


Hearing about people buying SSRs or even mechanical relays instead of just simply using a MosFET kinda hurts my feelings, so I decided to put together a little DIY hack to solve the problem.

In short: mechanical relays SUCK for DC (especially 24V, 200W which is a heavy burden for any mechanical relay to switch). Solid state relays (SSRs) are waaaay overengineered because they’re made for industrial control applications where safety certificates, electrical isolation and things like these matter.

Anyways, I made this little hack which uses a MosFET (rated for 120A actual rms current! Forget any SSR’s or mechanical relay’s current capabilities…) to switch the heated bed’s power from an Ultimaker 1 electronics board without using any current from the UM1’s original power supply.

Of course, you need a second power supply dedicated for the heated bed (recommendations included in the BOM. Don’t forget that these all come without wiring). I strongly recommend using a 24V power supply over 12V, because that means less current, meaning less stress on your wiring and connectors. Less current also means less electromagnetic interference.

The hack includes a printable circuit board – you print the circuit board with your 3D printer, put in the components and solder them using their own “legs” (full instructions in the files). All you need is a soldering station (preferrably with temperature control) and some standard electronics solder.

This design includes an LED indicator that will light up when the heatbed is activated. It’s also fully ESD protected and enclosed.

Don’t be afraid of the long instructions, it’s really easy to solder the components together.

Note that you need to use the case if you want the thing to be protected against ESD effectively. The current design uses self-tapping screws for thermoplastics (aka “plastite screws”). If you really need a design that uses standard M3 screws, tell me. I can adapt the design. You could also just use a drill and drill through the small holes. Then you can put screws through and add nuts on the bottom.

Important: Make sure you don’t put the MosFET relay on something that gets hot (such as the power supply unit)! It will not get warm by itself, but you don’t want it to melt down and short-circuit…

The BOM includes supplier information for www.mouser.com. I recommend you get the parts from there. They ship worldwide. If you take one of the power supplies listed in the BOM, you should also get free shipping.

Note about the picture of the PCB’s bottom side: Youmagine decided to rotate the picture and crop it. I tried it 3 times, it keeps rotating it. I have no time for this… See the assembly instructions for more pictures 😉

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