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Here's a video describing my enclosure and all the designs and prints that went into it... Watch this first so you can get an idea of the overall concept, design and features before I go into a step-by-step Instructable on how to build it. (Sorry in advance, but I kinda get off track in the video with other designs and my overall maker space, but everything you need to know about the enclosure is in this video.) ENJOY!



OVERVIEW:

I built this enclosure so that I could have complete climate control around my printers... It is well known that PLA, PVA, and other filament do not like moisture and/or humidity very much - so I wanted to have low humidity in my enclosure where my filament is stored at all times...

Also, it is kinda well known that ABS and Nylon, when they print - can be toxic... ABS is known to be carcinogenic and Nylon is not so well known, but nevertheless true, to release freakin CYANIDE!!! if heated too much (I know, crazy, right?) - so I wanted to create as perfect of a seal as I could in the enclosure and used a fan, blowing out through a duct, to create negative pressure and blow all those pesky micro-particles out the window and not into my living room - where I live and breath...

By adding a heater, fan and dehumidifier I now have complete control over the environment around my printers - which is an amazing thing to have and will lead to a lot better and more consistent printing at the end of the day - especially with tricky, heat sensitive filaments like ABS... It really does help with warping issues and also helps keep my heated beds warm -they also warm up quicker...

With the seal all around, this thing is pretty much sound proof, I can barely hear the printers while sitting right next to them... This is very nice, especially if your printers are in a living room like mine are... I can watch TV with the printers running and not need to hear them...

Lastly, I wanted to have all of my filament arranged in a way so that I can quickly change filaments without having to move anything around... So I have the filament sitting above the printers. Each one is fed through the platform and all the ends are resting above the printers in holders so when I unload one filament, I can just reach up and put the next one in as easy as possible... I designed the guides in such a way that even the furthest left filament can be fed into and print on the printer that's all the way on the right, and visa versa - every filament can fit into either printer.



COST, PARTS AND LABOR:

All said and done, this enclosure should cost around $300-400 to build...

The biggest expense, by far, is the acrylic - which will easily be $100-150 alone.

Lumber will cost roughly $80-100...

Paint, LEDs, fan, heater and other various things will run about another $100-150...

But if you spend a few thousand dollars on your printers, why not spend an extra few hundred to make an awesome enclosure for them to print more effectively in? It's totally worth it...

A lot of this enclosure is 3D printed...

I wanted to make a point to 3D print as many of the parts in the enclosure as I could, so there are about 100 individual 3D printed parts in the entire enclosure - including but not limited to - 20 spool holders, filament cleaners, guides, and hooks... 2 large mounting brackets and tube extenders... 2 detailed shelves, fan cover, duct, vent, and other various things I designed, printed and used... Overall, it will easily take over 200 hours to print everything needed - especially if you use the spool holders which take about 5 hours to print - each. So printing will be a large part of this project - if you want to build this - be prepared for that... Overall, this should take about 40 hours to build, minus the printing...



HOW I'M GOING TO SET-UP THIS INSTRUCTABLE TO BE USED:

Due to the fact that not everyone has the same printers as I do, I know that very few of you will need to build the same exact enclosure I did. So I did not bother including the exact dimensions or detailed blueprints of my enclosure, instead, this will be a step-by-step instruction on how I built my enclosure - in general. You can use it as a guide or take ideas from it to add to your enclosure, but your dimensions will most likely be different than mine - however, the overall concept will remain the same... So feel free to do what you want with this...



3D PRINTED PARTS AND COMPONENTS:

Here is my Thingiverse page ( http://www.thingiverse.com/jjpowelly/about ) this is where I have all of my designs, I will also post specific ones when they come up during the steps. You should reference this since it goes into greater detail on how to make the smaller compenents of the enclosure such as filament guides, bracket extenders, etc...

Also, I forgot to mention / emphasize in the video that 100% of my designs and prints that I made and that you see in the video print with a single extruder, without supports, and without a raft... I have gotten very good at designing things FOR printing... Everything I design, print, and upload prints very easily- if it doesn't - you tell me and I'll fix it... I want all my designs to be perfect and easy to print for everybody, on every printer... I take a lot of pride in my ability to engineer/design things that way, and all my designs are built directly around and with these constraints in mind - I will never design and upload something that I have not, first, made sure was perfect in every aspect for successful printing.

I'm an engineer/designer that is currently studying Computer Science at Columbia... I give a large portion of my designs and ideas out for free to be used within the open source community... I don't ask for much in return, but it is nice to get some positive feedback / suggestions from people who appreciate and use my work every now and then... So if you like this or have any ideas for me, any feedback would be greatly appreciated... I always want to make my designs better and will take positive input from anyone willing to give it to me.

Here is a link to this enclosure's specific Thingiverse page:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:748679

Thank you for visiting my Instructable!

Step 1: Step1: Concept / Table

OVERVIEW:

So I built this enclosure specifically for my two printers (Makerbot Rep 2 and Flash Forge Creator Pro), if by any remote chance you have the same two printers - then you're in luck... However, I am going to assume the vast majority of you do not... Never fear though, you can still build this for your printers, you're just going to need to figure out the dimensions you will need and build according to your dimensions.

GETTING DIMENSIONS NEEDED:

First, this enclosure can be made for however many printers you own... I have 2, so naturally, I built mine to fit 2 - however - this will also work for only 1 printer, or even 4 or 5 printers - it will just be massive - but it will still work nonetheless.

What you want to do is measure how big your printer(s) is/are - Length, Depth, and Height... Then decide what sized enclosure you will need around the printers... In my case, I measured that my Makerbot and Flash Forge were both approximately 20"L, 13"D, 15"H... So I decided to sit them side by side and leave myself an extra 6-8" in each direction and about a foot on top so that I can easily work in there changing filaments and work on the machines...

So the Length of my enclosure is 20+20+8=48"... Depth = 13+8=21"... and Height = 15"+12"=27"... So the entire area of my bottom enclosure = 48"L x 21"D x 27"H... I then calculated and decided how to build the wooden enclosure around those dimensions... You should do a similar method...

TABLE/BASE:

Before you do anything, first, you're going to need to build a table from which you will build the enclosure... I used regular old lumber from Lowe's... I used 4x4"s for the legs cut at 29"... I used a 1" rectangular piece of particle board for the table top... And I cut various sizes of 2x4" for all around supports as seen in the pictures... I also added a shelf at the bottom with some extra particle board I had from the table top to keep extra parts and tools easily accessible.

You can make the base table however you want, but this is how I did mine - just make sure whatever you build is very sturdy - you don't want your printers falling.

I want your setup! So nice
This is just awesome!!
<p>This looks like a great enclosure! Lots of great ideas and tips too. Thank you for sharing this!</p>
<p>You're welcome, I'm very happy sharing my ideas and designs with the community... I mean, why hoard it all to myself when other people can benefit from it?</p>
<p>Dude you are my hero I love this Idea </p>
<p>LOL, thank you... You're also my hero Jack Daniels, or maybe my crutch - whatevs...</p>
<p>Mmm ok loads of work and cost here which probably could have been saved by utilising an old fridge cabinet. Because they seal they keep the temp and humidity stable, its easy to extract from them and if you managebto get a commercial drinks fridge it will have a clear view front, just a thought. However I admire your persistance in building this.</p>
<p>Thank you, yeah, that would be a good idea, I just enjoy carpentry and wood work... So I'll naturally revert to that... The structure of the enclosure (wood) was pretty easy and cheap, only about 5-6 hours to assemble and about $80-100... I also have too many shop tool than I know what to do with... I have to get some work out of them, so I take up projects like this... But the structure was the easiest part, it was the minor details and acrylic that took a lot of time and TLC... </p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I make things, and I sometimes attend classes at Columbia University - but primarily - I make things ~ especially from scratch... Please don't mind the currently ... More »
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