i just picked up my new printer bed! As I wrote in a previous log, I decided to keep the option for a y-axis extension open and had my bed water jet cut to accommodate a roughly 10 inch y-axis from the 6 inch limit of the original bed.
Weight may be an issue. This 6061 aluminum bed weighs 2007 g. Supporting this amount of weight causes a slight bend in the x-axis rods. When the bearings are locked down, they will be more effective at keeping the rails straight. I will continue to assemble as is and see what happens to prints.
To lighten up the print bed, the bottom side could be milled out to the size of the PCB heaters. This would not only cut the weight of the bed almost in half, but would also reduce the thermal mass enabling faster heating and cooling of the print bed.
If reducing the weight does not solve the rod bending issue, a move to 10 mm rods may be in order.
Another consideration with more weight is the drive system: can the drive system handle it? Will belt slippage become an issue? Overheating of the stepper motor?
Tune in next time and find out!