I'm /relatively/ new to 3d printing (I'm getting pretty good prints from my Wanhao di3 plus, but haven't done any DIY kits or anything) and materials engineering is probably the furthest thing from my area of expertise so I thought I would pose this to more experienced makers:
If I'm building a large scale printer (probably a similar size to substation33 - sub33D's 1200x1200 printer) that I'm only going to print in PLA and MAYBE ABS occasionally, can I substitute the heated bed for simply heating the entire enclosure? The idea would be to have a thermistor measuring the ambient air temp inside the enclosure with a heat gun or two to hear the entire enclosure as necessary. I want to do this to try and reduce the cost (significantly as far as I can tell) as it seems 400*400 silicone heat pads tend to go for about 80 bucks a pop. An alternate idea I had was to use two or three heat pads and space them evenly under a glass bed, although I feel that this won't work as well because the heating won't be homogenous...
Any input is appreciated :)
If you want to print ABS at even one third of that scale, you will want a heated bed and a heated enclosure. Posts here (and my personal experience) support this; unfortunately, I can't find an impartial, non-anecdotal source to cite.