3D Printer Enclosure Ideas
My 3D Printer enclosure - ideas, and the good & bad.
Needed an enclosure to be able to print ABS in a higher temperature environment. I put some thought into how to build it from scratch and this is the result.
- Printer rolls out on draw slides
- Power supply cooling
- Lighting and illumination
- Fire resistant materials
- Handling cooler outside temperatures
Why I built it
Needed to print ABS and so get the temperatures up. So needed an enclosure and put some thought into how to build it from scratch.
One of my favourite features is you can slide the printer out easy for maintenance. I fitted drawer slides to the base and it makes maintenance so much easier.
I wanted it fireproof, maybe just being paranoid after hearing many people saying don't leave your printer unattended. So its manly made out of cement board and aluminium angle. Cement board is not easy to cut so its not the best material, but it is cheap and non flammable! You really need a cement cutting disc on an angle grinder but wear a mask for the dust. It was all then rivetted together using the aluminium as the frame.
So its less flammable, but you couldn't guarantee it'd contain a fire.
Power supply cooling
Another other factor was not cooking the power supply of my Ender 3 V2 in a heated enclosure. You can disassemble the printer and leave the supply outside but its an effort so thought about having vents low down so the higher print bed stays hot and the supply at the bottom of the printer stays cool.
Added a couple of thermometers to monitor the temperature, one at bed level and one on the floor. The 3 inch difference is about 8 degrees centigrade. So it helps.
In winter it struggles to get up to 40 degrees C so I leave the vents shut.
Anyway, so far had no problems with the power supply.
Fitted LEDS which are remotely controlled using Octolight and the Raspberry Pi so its easy to check on night time prints.
The inside of the printer is painted white so you get good illumination of prints. Its pretty much a 'light box' that you'd use for photography. So you get a great picture through the Pi camera.
In winter the temperature can get down to zero so I fitted 'foil board' to the sides and top for insulation so the temperature can get to 30-40 degrees for ABS printing.
On top of the printer is a Sunlu filament drier. This feeds the filament through a PTFE tube to the printer. I made an insulated cover for the drier and this makes a big difference to the temperature in the drier, the thin plastic doesn't hold the heat especially when it gets cooler. Its made of several insulation layers, a reflective layer and a zip if you want to feed the filament out at the top.
What would I do better?
Make it a few inches wider and taller. I tried to minimise the size so it'd heat up quicker but it'd be better if it had just a little more room.
I leave the door open slightly when printing PLA and PETG so it doesn't get too hot.
Other than that it works well and the printer lives permanently in the enclosure.
Hope you found this useful for your enclosure build !