Stackable Open Source 3D Printer Enclosure

One of the unfortunate realities of desktop FDM 3D printing is that environmental factors such as ambient temperature and humidity can have a big impact on your results. Even with the exact same settings, a part that printed beautifully in the summer can warp right off the bed during the winter months. The solution is a temperature-controlled enclosure, but that can be a daunting project without some guidance. Luckily, [Jay Doscher] has spent the last few months designing a very impressive enclosure that he’s released to the community as open source.

While we’ve seen no shortage of DIY printer enclosures over the years, they tend to be fairly lightweight. But that’s not the case here. Obviously not wanting to leave anything to chance, [Jay] designed this enclosure with 2020 extrusion and aluminum side panels. You could probably sit on the thing with no ill-effects, which is good, since he also designed the enclosure to be stackable should your print farm need to expand vertically.

Of course, there’s more to this enclosure than just an aluminum box. It’s packed with features like an integrated Raspberry Pi for running Octoprint, internal and external environmental monitoring with the Adafruit SHT31-D, and a Logitech Brio 4K video camera to watch the action. While not currently implemented, [Jay] says he’s also working on an internal fire suppression system and a fan controller system which will circulate air inside the enclosure should things get a little too toasty.

The enclosure has been designed around the ever-popular Prusa i3 MK3/S, even going so far as to relocate the printer’s display to the outside so you don’t have to open the door to fiddle with the settings. But adapting it to whatever rig you happen to be running shouldn’t be a problem. Though admittedly, perhaps not as easy as adjusting an enclosure made out of metal shelving.

20 thoughts on “Stackable Open Source 3D Printer Enclosure

  1. Nice box to base future improvements on:

    – needs a duct port for exhausting ABS fumes to the outside

    – LEDS on the front to show status like red for needing immediate attention, green for the print is done, …

    Although your design won’t work with my delta printer (Anycubic Predator), I like your ideas and approach.

  2. I don’t think things “getting too toasty” will be a problem with aluminum walls, unless you leave the printer sitting out in the sun.

    Using small t-slot for the frame is OK, but you don’t need a lot of strength or rigidity, so it would be better to fit foam insulating panels in the sides, top, and bottom. Not just any foam- get PIR- it is essentially fire-proof. Panels can be cut with a razor blade and jam-fit into the frame. You might find plain rectangular aluminum tubing to be a little cheaper and definitely more rigid than the same size t-slot.

    If you’re going to print ABS you need it to be warm inside- 45-50C minimum. You can’t run a fume exhaust fan while printing because you’ll be drawing in cool air to replace the air you’re blowing out with the fan. That will be worse than just printing ABS on an open frame printer. Add vents that can be closed. Keep them closed when the print is running. Open them and turn on the fan when the print is finished, preferably after it has cooled off.

      1. I think that people often don’t realize this about patents. They were actually intended for you to re-build at home and learn from. They provide a temporary monopoly for the seller — you can’t compete with the same tech in the market — but nothing else. You _should_ rebuild it and learn from it. Patents were intended to be the opposite of trade secrets.

        The fact is, of course, that this is abused these days by overbroad claims, vague claims that don’t help in re-building the work, etc. Real patent reform is long overdue, but that’s a bigger story.

        For the home maker, patents should be a source of inspiration.

      1. From the article “…the patent expiration on heated enclosures for printing…”

        As far as I can tell, this enclosure doesn’t heat, and that’s a reference to an expired patent anyway. So I’m as confused as you are.

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