Printer Enclosure Project

Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
3,119
I've been printing a good bit of ABS lately... But on the larger print jobs, was getting frustrated as I was getting some lifting/warping on my prints... even with the heated bed. That and the smell wasn't all that great either... Just the nature of the beast with ABS.

So, I finally broke down and decided to build an enclosure for my Prusa i3 MK2S. Problem now solved and it's a LOT quieter... Not that the Prusa is a loud machine to begin with, but it's now REALLY quiet - so much so I often can't tell its printing. Plus, no more ABS fume smell either!

It's still somewhat of a work in progress, but most of the heavy lifting is done. Decided to go the Ikea Lack table route. Finished the LED lighting, isolation feet, HEPA filtration duct//fan shroud assembly and the basics as to the enclosure hardware itself:

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Except for the Ikea Lack tables, the marble slab, the nuts/bolts/screws and the plexiglass, all of the fittings/hinges, fan/filter shrouds, case accessories, etc. are all 3D printed by the Prusa.

Still left to do: Internal Pi camera mount, Pi case to mount a Pi 3 on the back (for Octoprint), power switches and temperature indicator panel on the front top (just inside door), temperature control circuitry for the fan, and a lighting control circuit - also going to have the Pi wired in to control everything.

If any of you are interested in doing something similar, there are lots of example projects out there. Here's the project that got me started on this: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2012384
This is the Ikea Lack table it is built from (2x): http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80104268/
I decided to not use the lower legs - just use it as a box. It's a bit more sturdy that way, plus I had the desk space for it. (Can always easily add the lower legs if I so choose.)

Here are a few other links that I used in building this:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1814763

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2105113

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1707045

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2291409

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2704291

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2306231

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2458298
All in, I've spent a little over $100 in building it. (Minus the LED lighting, switches, and the Pi that's going in). The most expensive parts so far were the three sheets of plexiglass @ $23 a pop. I went with thicker 5mm panels: https://www.lowes.com/pd/OPTIX-0-22-in-x-18-in-x-24-in-Clear-Acrylic-Sheet/3502292
Was a fun little project - still have a bit of tinkering to do, but I'm very happy with how it has turned out so far.
 

MrFuzzy

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
104
Are you planning to move the electronics outside the enclosure or do you think they will be fine inside there?
 

Logan321

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
1,900
Please move your main board and power supply outside the enclosure, or duct outside air into an isolated box. My enclosure reaches 40C inside on long prints. That'll shorten the lifespan of your electronics significantly.
 

Springerr

n00b
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
2
Hey I know this is a VERY old thread but I found it during my google searching for inspiration for my prusa enclosure.

I'm thinking I'm gonna do my best to replicate what you have here. I already have the lack tables and acrylic sheets (now $33 each) and I was just curious on what you decide to do for the handle and how you situated the magnets.

I'm honestly just thinking about going and getting a cabinet handles from the hardware store.

Any tips? Tricks for a smooth build process. Maybe something you would change if you where to do it again?
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
3,119
Sure, I’d be glad to offer some further tips. Door hardware is fairly cheap/easy to come by with a trip to Home Depot, but I really wanted to go the 3D printed route to justify having just bought a 3D printer! :D The hinges I linked worked out really well. But I did up-size them a bit for a better fit for what I wanted. Print just one hinge out with coarse/fast print settings for testing, sizing, and once you have it dialed in, go quality with the final print with 100% infill for maximum strength. I also 3D printed the handle - tons of options to choose from off of Thingiverse. Also real easy to resize to exactly what you want. Just need to add screws/bolts/nuts/washers. I also used rubber spacers for the bolts on the door to prevent cracking the acrylic.

Other tips and a few things I would do differently:
1) I didn’t really need the isolation feet for the printer. Just make sure you use a heavy/solid/flat piece of material for the base inside - really helps with stability and resistance to vibration/noise. The slab of marble I used (was a bakery/dough plate) has been perfect. A paver or a nice countertop granite remnant would also work - call up a granite countertop place, they’ll have lots of cheap leftovers that could possibly work.
2) Take your time cutting the acrylic - go slow and get a hacksaw blade made for cutting plexi. Be sure to use blue painters tape on both sides to prevent cracks/splits when cutting it. Again, go slow. Plexi likes to let the blade walk... so you have to be slow/careful. Also don’t try and cut the door panel too close as to tolerances - it needs to swing freely to be able to close/open. I cut mine a bit too close and it sticks a bit sometimes.
3) DO NOT take the protective film off of the plexi until the panel is fully installed or you WILL ding up and scratch it.
4) Cylindrical neodymium button/disc magnets superglued to the far plexi door corners (and behind the triangle catch plate/frame ends) works really well for closing the door.
5) The lack material is quite hollow and primarily just cardboard inside... so you will want screws that have a fairly wide/deep thread to them - like wall board screws. Don’t use plain wood screws. If you do have to drill into the lack material to mount things, you may also want to consider a bit of wood glue to help whatever you screw into it hold better... and be careful to not over tighten. It is just mostly cardboard and glue in there wrapped in laminate to begin width.
6) I used strips of black adhesive foam (10-12 mm wide window seal) to seal up the outside edges of the two plexi window panels from the inside.

If you have more questions or want some close up shots of anything, just let me know. Cheers!
 

Springerr

n00b
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
2
Thanks for the tips! I'm gonna start working on it this weekend. my biggest concern is cutting the acrylic. I did a super basic lack enclosure back when I first got my printer but as with all projects the first time you do it you find a lot of room for improvement
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
3,119
Sure thing. Have fun and take your time, you’ll do fine! Another tip, you can carefully run a lighter (or if you have one, a small butane torch) along the edges of the acrylic to smooth out/round the edges. Just don’t keep the flame on one spot for too long. Does a really nice job of taking any jagged or sharp edges away. Good luck!
 
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