This 3D Printer Enclosure Takes Ventilation Seriously

A lot of work has gone into hacking common items (like IKEA Lack tables) into useful and effective 3D printer enclosures, but [Stefan.Lu] has taken a harder look at the whole business. He decided to start with some specific goals that were unmet by current solutions. In particular, he wanted to allow for proper ventilation and exhaust. Not only do some filaments smell bad, but there is ongoing research around UFP (ultra-fine particles) emitted from the 3D printing process. Just in case UFPs turn out to be this generation’s asbestos or something equally terrible, [Stefan.Lu] felt that a bit more work and expense up front would be worth it to meet his goals of a ventilation-friendly enclosure.

In addition to ventilation and exhaust, [Stefan.Lu] wanted to locate the printer at a comfortable working height, and preferred not to build things entirely from scratch. He did it for well under $200 by using a common storage rack shelf as the foundation and acrylic panels for the sides, and a few thoughtful uses of basic hardware. The angled metal supports made for easy attachment points and customization, and a combination of solid shelf plus anchoring to the wall put an end to vibrations. The side panels are secured by magnets, and [Stefan.Lu] points out that if you don’t have access to a laser cutter, cast acrylic withstands drilling and cutting better than extruded acrylic.

The final touch was a fire alarm, which is an excellent precaution. 3D printers are heating elements with multiple moving parts and they often work unattended. It makes sense to have a fire alarm around, or at least not enclose the device in highly flammable material in the first place.

3D Printer Exhaust

[Malcolm] finally got fed up with the fumes produced by his 3D printer, so he decided to setup this rather extensive fume exhausting system.

He already has a pretty awesome setup with his Type A 3D printer inside of a filing cabinet, with a plastic tote above it to keep his filament from absorbing too much water. But as you know, the fumes released while printing ABS are actually pretty bad for you. With this in mind he 3D printed adapter rings and fitted a fan salvaged from a space heater to the outside of his filing cabinet. A dimmer switch provides variable fan speeds and some dryer vent tubing reroutes the fumes to central vac piping which then goes directly outside. When the system is not in use the piping can be plugged to prevent cold air from entering the house. It’s a fairly clean build but [Malcolm] wants to make a nicer enclosure for the fan and speed control circuit.

The major problem we see with doing something like this is removing too much heat from the build chamber which can always affect print quality. Do you vent your 3D printer?

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