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Temperature sensors are a key part of 3D printers. They help control the heat in different printer parts, ensuring everything works safely and correctly. These sensors manage the heat in the hot end, the print bed, and other parts that get hot.
There are two main types of temperature sensors commonly used in 3D printers:
- Thermistors: These are the most common sensors found in 3D printers. They are cheap, simple, and accurate for a certain range of temperatures. Thermistors change resistance as they get hotter or colder. The printer’s control board turns the resistance measurement into a temperature reading. They are mainly used to keep track of the temperature in the hot end and the heated bed.
- Thermocouples: These sensors are made of two different metals joined together. They create a voltage when the temperature changes at the joining point. Reading this voltage can be a bit complex and might need extra parts like an amplifier. Thermocouples can read a wider range of temperatures compared to thermistors. They are usually found in high-end or industrial printers rather than home 3D printers.
Proper calibration and maintenance of temperature sensors are essential for accurate temperature control and consistent print quality. If a temperature sensor is damaged or malfunctioning, it should be replaced to prevent potential issues with print quality or printer safety.