Introduction: 3D Printer Enclosure With Lights

Picture of 3D Printer Enclosure With Lights

I made an enclosure for my Prusa i3 RepRap 3D Printer to protect it from sawdust in my woodworking shop. Watch my video of the project and follow these steps to make one for your 3D printer. The overall size is 19.5" wide x 22" tall x 23" deep; however, you may need to adjust the size to fit your 3D printer.

Supplies: 1/4" plywood, 1/2" plywood, 3/4" plywood, clear acrylic, zip ties, screws, glue, LED light strip, washers, magnets

Tools: Table saw, band saw, drill, square, sander, trim router, scissors, tape measure

Step 1: Make the Base and Sides

Picture of Make the Base and Sides

I measured the 3D printer and cut a base a little bigger than the footprint of the printer. I cut two sides with openings for windows that would be taller than the printer. I screwed these together with the base elevated, so that I can mount the electronic components underneath the printer.

Step 2: Add Windows to Sides

Picture of Add Windows to Sides

I used a trim router with a rabbeting bit to route a recesses for the plexiglass windows. I measured the opening and cut the two windows to fit.

Tip! Use caution when cutting plexiglass. New plexiglass usually comes with a protective film applied. Leave that film on to prevent scratches. Saw surfaces can scratch plexiglass.

Step 3: Mount the 3D Printer

Picture of Mount the 3D Printer

I marked and drilled holes where the wires need to pass through to the electronics underneath. I also marked and drilled small holes under the four corners of the printer so that I could secur it to the base with zip ties.

Tip! I highly recommend that you take pictures of all wiring connections before disconnecting them and routing them through the access holes. This can help to make sure you reconnect them correctly.

Step 4: Mount the Electronics

Picture of Mount the Electronics

I mounted the electronics upside down under the base. I made wooden L brackets for the power supply. I used eyelet screws and zip ties to secure the Arduino linquini. I used zip ties to bundle the loose wires so they would not hang down too far underneath.

Step 5: Build a Control Panel Box

Picture of Build a Control Panel Box

I built a small box to hold the printer's smart controller and mounted it to a board for the front of the enclosure. I also added a lighted rocker switch to power on both the 3D printer and the LED light strip. If you have the same smart controller, click here to visit my website article on this project and download my free Control Panel Box template.

Step 6: Add a Top

Picture of Add a Top

Cut a top piece from 3/4" plywood with another window and screwed it to the sides.

Step 7: Add a Filament Reel Holder

Picture of Add a Filament Reel Holder

Make two small side brackets for hanging a dowel rod to hold the filament reels.

Step 8: Add the Back Panel

Picture of Add the Back Panel

Cut a back panel to fit from 1/4" plywood. I used 4 screws to attach the back, so that it would be easy to remove if I need to change out the filament reels.

Step 9: Secure the Side Windows

Picture of Secure the Side Windows

I cut some small guitar pick shaped clips and screwed them to the sides to secure the side windows. It would also be easy to print some similar clips with the 3D printer.

Step 10: Add the Front Window

Picture of Add the Front Window

The front of the enclosure is just a single piece of plexiglass. I attached some cleats across the top and bottom about a 1/4" inside the enclosure. I cut two semi-circles from a large washer and glued them to the middle of the cleats. I drilled recesses in the plexiglass and glued in two small rare earth magnets to hold the window on.

Step 11: Turn It On!

Picture of Turn It On!

I plugged in the power cord and turned it on, and it worked on the first try! Awesome! Now I just need to learn how to design 3D models that I can print with it, but that's another project for another day!

If you need to make an enclosure for your 3D printer, I hope this project gives you some useful ideas. Thanks for checking out my Instructable! Steve....

Comments

Cleveland! (author)2017-06-05

I tried something similar to this a few months ago but it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped for. I think you've inspired me to try again though! Nice work!

AJB2K3 (author)2017-02-05

If you want to print ABS or have the printer in a drafty room, then it's a must otherwise, it just makes it look better.

Great, I made it to keep the sawdust off it and so it would look cool in the shop. It also keeps me from damaging it with lumber or projectiles flying around the shop. lol

Yeah keeping the printer clear of debri and dust is a great biproduct, but being able to successfully print with ABS is going to be the main benefit of this enclosure. Also, if you have kids it can protect people from getting burned as well.

I don't have any ABS yet, but good to know I can try it and have a good chance of getting a good print. Thanks!

PirateKittyK (author)2017-02-07

I loved your design. Will make one for my Prusa model 1. I can then put it in the unheated garage, and just heat it up 1/2 hour before printing.

Should keep the dust out, and the heat in. Kind of critical for proper ABS printing and layer adhission.

Will post pictures.

Thank you very much! I'm really happy with it so far. I haven't tried ABS yet. Looking forward to seeing your pictures.

miragempro (author)2017-02-07

Hi, thanks for the tutorial.

Where did you buy this 3D printer ???

A hug from Brazil

Hi, I got the 3D printer in a trade, but they are on ebay, just search for Folger RepRap 3D Printer. It's a kit you have to put together. Hugs back to Brazil!

mrsmerwin (author)2017-02-04

I was wondering if the manufacturer recommended using an enclosure. I don't have a printer--yet.

krieglers (author)mrsmerwin2017-02-08

Enclosures can only benefit the printer. it will improve heating times, maintain heat and keeping stuff dry. Less external factors to ruin and warp prints. By the looks of things, this will also help dry the filament due to being enclosed. You have my vote I will be building one for my printers

I don't know, I got it in a trade so there was no documentation. I've seen lots of other people make them for this kit printer. I think the sawdust I generate in my shop would be really bad for it, so I had to enclose it for that reason alone.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a woodworker who makes fun woodworking projects on my wife's side of the garage!
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