Introduction: 3D Printer Thermal Enclosure

3D Printer Housing

Anybody who has ever used a Desktop 3D Printer has likely encountered the issue of warping. In severe cases and large objects this can cause the extruder to hit the part causing it to peel off. The printer, not knowing the part is no longer there, continues resulting in a big birds nest. In order to fix this problem we must first look at the causes of it.

Heat is vital to 3D Printing and if the print experiences a quick change in temperature, like that of a cool breeze of opening a door, the molecules of the plastic in the part to contract un uniformly causing warping and in some cases splitting of the part. So how do we fix this?

By putting a barrier between the printer and the environment you can slow that change in temperature eliminating warping. So by building an enclosure for your printer you keep the outside elements out and keep the inside elements in giving you an added heated print area.

What you will need:

· 6 Acrylic sheets 18”X24”X.093” (You may need a bigger sheet, but not likely) I got mine at home depot

· Laser Cutter/Etcher or Other cutting materials (Ruler, Knife, and A File)

· Adhesive, I will use super glue. Acrylic Glue would work best.

· Tape Measure

· Masking tape

· Attached Files (will discuss later)

*** This .zip folder contains everything you will need for this instructable Including a step by step pdf with pictures***

Step 1: Measure

Use the tape measure and measure the minimum length, width, and height you will need then and one inch to be safe. It is best to do this with a spool of material in and the printer in the furthest position it can be in. (This is typically the “Foot Print” of the printer and can be found on the box if you are lucky) . If your measurements are equal to or under 14”X14”X18” you can just use all my parts.

***Before you continue decide one of the following approaches to take.***

1. Laser Cut (Google search for someone local, it should be fairly cheap)

a. Options 1&2 Folder in the zip folder

b. Go to next step

2. Hand Cut and Glue (Not Recommended)

a. Options 1&2 Folder in the zip folder

b. Go to next step

3. Hand Cut No Glue (Quick and Easy)

a. Options 1&2 Folder in the zip folder

b. Go to next step

Step 2: Cut

If Laser Cutting and dimensions match mine take the .dxf files from folder (or last step of this instructable) and give to laser cutting company along with .093" thick acrylic sheets.

If cutting by hand measure out your desired sheet size making sure to add 2 times the thickness to to your measurement. I.E. Goal=Measurement+ 2*(Material thickness)

Lay ruler along desired cut line and score repeatedly with knife, or thumb tack (the more the merrier). Extend cuts to the end of the glass to give a good breaking point.

Set acrylic on a cornered table with the scrap hanging. Apply pressure until the glass snaps, if you scored it enough it will break only along the line. After repeating this process with all sides you should have five pieces, 4 sides and a roof.

If doing option 3 proceed to next step

Now following the schematic (Photos) im sorry I forgot to label them in the file proceed to make the smaller cuts into the acrylic (I recommend scoring them then cutting with a knife or dremel tool). This is the hardest part. I decided quickly I would just have mine laser cut after ruining a few sheets of acrylic.

For more accuracy cutting by hand check out this instructable, this guy dose really good about describing a great method he uses for cuts like this

Pay careful attention to steps four (of his instructable) and on

Step 3: Print and Assemble

Using the Stl files in the folder or at last slide print the following according to your potion

Options 1&2: Print 8 of the “Housing_Foot” pieces included in your folder, you will need four of them for your housing to sit on giving it stability and the other four will help tremendously in assembly.

Start by taking the back panel and a side panel and fit appropriate edges together so that the bottom (uncut edge closest to the holes) of each panel lines up.

Slip a housing foot on both the top and bottom.

Use masking tape to secure the middle and hold panels together during next few steps.

Repeat with remaining sides

After you have fit all sides together and taped them set the housing in the upright position, Remove the Housing Feet from the top, and place the top panel into position.

Tape the edges.

Now flip the housing over so that it is sitting on the top piece.

Using either Acrylic glue or super glue (I heard about some people using acetone) apply glue to each seam making sure the glue seeps between the seams let set for 5 min then come back and get spots you missed.

Warning: Using super glue will result in the white fog that you see in the photos. I tried using nail polish remover on it but had no effect.

Let glue cure overnight

Proceed to next step.

Option 3:

Print out the following from your file

4X Housing _Foot_No_Glue.stl

4X Roof_Slot.stl

4X Wall_Crimp.stl

Slide the slotted side of the roof slot onto each corner of your top panel as shown

Insert side wall pieces into the remaining slots using wall crimps to hold walls in place.

Top off with Housing feet.

Proceed to next step

Step 4: Enjoy

You are now finished set your enclosure over your printer and don’t worry about your prints ever again.


All .dxf and .stl parts are included in the next "step" incase you are un able to download the compressed zip folder

If you use a different thickness of material you will need to edit the .dxf and .stl files. They are made using .093” thick acrylic. This is because it is what home depot carries at a manageable price.

I have included the original part files so that you can edit them if you need to

If you make your own design for your acrylic cuts, make sure to leave plenty of vent holes to keep the printer from overheating the stepper motors.

Try making one with a front door, I would have but this was a school project and I had limited time and budget.

If you have any questions feel free to ask

I have included all of my part files in case you wish to edit them if you need them in a different format just ask, im using solid works default format .sldprt (student perks)

If you like this please vote for it in the 3D Printing contest ( you don’t have to be a member, just use your Facebook account)

Step 5: Spare Parts

Crafting 101

Participated in the
Crafting 101

3D Printing Contest

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest