3D Printer Enclosure: Design

January 2, 2015 3D Printing

This is the first of three posts detailing the build of my 3D printer enclosure.  Don’t forget to check out Part 2 and Part 3!

The last half of 2014 was pretty busy.  However, between moving across the country, starting a new job, and exploring a new city… I still managed to find time for some projects.  After getting set up in my new home, I unpacked the 3D printer, and started trying to print.  My workspace ended up being adjacent to the bedroom, however, and it turned out the the noise from the Makerfarm Prusa i3, is just way too loud.  So, I decided to build an enclosure!

I started off with some sketches, trying to come up with a design that was easy enough to build in my garage with only hand tools, but with a bit of aesthetic flare.  I had some 12mm Baltic Birch plywood leftover from my N-Hedral project, and decided to use it in the construction.

I came up with the idea of making the door a removable bent polycarbonate sheet, so most of my sketches ended up revolving around that concept.  However, before committing to the idea, I had to do some testing to see if I would be able to make the nice, large radius bend that I wanted.

  • I made a bending jig from some PVC pipe and scrap wood.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the bend I was looking for, so I went back to the drawing board.

Enclosure0003

The next step was to model it in Solidworks to generate exact dimensions for fabrication.   You can download an STL of the design on Thingiverse!

CAD_01

With the design complete, it was time to buy materials and begin building!  Click Here to go to the next part of the build!

This article has 2 comments

  1. hans acker

    Maybe just some hints, if you try to bend polycarbonate again. It is actually not that complicated, if you ensure that the temperature is evenly distributed throughout the material. Using a heat gun is not the preferred option as you already noticed, it tends to overheat the plastic. If you use one, ensure that you use one that allows setting lower temperatures and be patient.

    If you try to bend a big part of polycarbonate like your front-door is, I would recommend that you just put in into the oven in your kitchen and tenderly heat it up to bending temperature for at least 15-20 minutes. To get the hole piece properly out of the oven, you should heat it on a smooth plate. To get the proper bending, you would need a prototype that provides the desired form. Just place the warm polycarbonate on it and let it cool down and you should get a proper windows that slightly bends at the desired point.

    It’s a bit of work but actually worth the hassle 😉

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