Introduction: Cheap DIY 3D Printer Enclosure | Ender 3
I recently got an Ender 3 3d printer second hand but the problem is I only got ABS with it. Lessons were learnt and long story short ABS needs an enclosure for a good print and it would save you a lot of time and money. So I am sharing with you my easy DIY and toasty enclosure for my 3d printer to help give me better ABS prints. Hope you enjoy it.
Full project video:
3D printer: Creality Ender 3 : https://amzn.to/3i1GP5z (MINES)
Creality Ender 3 V2: https://amzn.to/2R171l0
1/4" PVC Foam board (one) 20"x20" , (four) 20" x 23"
1/4" Plexi (one) 20"x20"
4x - Hinges
20x - Nuts and screws: 1/2"x1/8"
40x - Rivets: 1/2"x 3/16" - You really need only 36
1x - Metal Drill bit : 3/16"
2x - Nuts and screws: 1"x 1/8"
2x - Magnetic Catches
20x - washers (optional)
2x Door handles (optional)
4x - Nuts and screws: 2"x 1/8"
You could use anything you have for the frame.
XT60 Connectors https://amzn.to/3aW244x
JST Connectors https://amzn.to/2MBiYeZ
LEDS (4 x 6"(lengths)): https://amzn.to/3bsB5zs
1x Voltage Regulator: https://amzn.to/2Z7B7YL
Heat Shrink Tube: https://amzn.to/3i2SXn9
2x Switchs: https://amzn.to/3gYD2EV
1x Fan: https://amzn.to/31XZ9Hp
Carbon Filter: https://amzn.to/320Nd7V
Filter Holder: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3341600 Filter Housing only
Tools and equipment:
Solder iron and solder: (mines) https://amzn.to/2QW7cOv
File: (mines) https://amzn.to/3bG1Ws9
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Step 1: Cutting
I started by cutting the four 20 by 23-inch sides and then the 20" by 20" piece for the back. This was done with a circular saw. If you have a table saw this would be much easier. For the doors, I measure a 20x20 inch square on the Plexi then covered the lines with masking tape. I then redrew the line on top of the tape. To cut I used an angle grinder as the blade was much thinner. Next, I drew a line down the middle to make the french doors using the same masking tape method.
Step 2: Assemble the Box
Now To assemble the box, we are going to need a couple of tools. A metal cutter, about 36 rivets you should have extra in case some break. These are 1/2 inch long by 3/16 of an inch thick, an associated rivet gun, a 3/16 of an inch metal drill bit and drill. I cut four metal angles using the cutter each 23 inches long for the four sides and FOUR angles 20 inches long for the back. I used some small clamp here to hold the metal angle on the inside of the PVC while I made three holes in the PVC. I put one in the middle and the other two holes 2 inches from the ends. Careful how you did this as the metal and drill bit can have sharp edges. Lessons were learnt. Then using a rivet tool, I put in the three rivets on the outside, securing the metal to the PVC. I repeated this for all sides until I had a beautiful basket; I mean box, I mean 3d printer encloser.
Step 3: Adding French Doors
For the hinges, I measured two inches from the top and marked a clearance for the arm. I then filed away about 1/16 of an inch. This would allow the Plexi to be flush with the front of the encloser. I then placed back the hinge and marked the holes and used the same 3/16 of an inch metal bit to make the holes in the PVC. I cant use rivets here as there is no metal on the inside for them to hold on to and they would damage the thin PVC. So instead I am using a 1-inch screw and nut with a washer on the inside. This worked well, and I repeated this for the other three hinges.
Step 4: Door Problems
This is where I started to see some problems with the Plexi doors. They overlap slightly when closing and neither the opening nor the Plexi was perfectly square. This wasn't a deal-breaker as I could trim the Plexi and reinforce the frame later. For now, I have to close the doors at the same time or give one a little nudge to close properly. I added magnetic catches to help keep the doors closed here. So, in the end, it worked out great.
Step 5: Door Handles
To finish off the look, I got this nice modern looking handle at the hardware. This was a personal choice and not necessary as it was a bit pricey. I originally planned to use a rope as the door handle, but I just found this to be perfect when I saw it, and I must say this looked great.
Step 6: Filament Holder
Now HOW to get the filament inside. I centred the 3d printer in the encloser to get an idea of what is the best place to enter the box from. I wanted the filament holder close the edge where it was the strongest, so I decided the filament would enter from the side. The aliment placed the holder 8 1/2 inches from the back. I marked and drilled holes for the holder and used the 1ich long screw here and nuts and washer. I took a centre mark below the holder on the enclosure. I then measured an inch and a half from the top for my filament hole. I drilled a hole and then moved the bit downward to give the filament a lot of movement. Because the encloser is 20" wide the filament has more than enough room to move in freely to the 3d printer.
Step 7: Moving the Power Supply
The last thing to do here was to move the power supply outside. Using the supplied Allen keys, I removed the 24v power supply. Save the scews as we are going to use them over. There is a simple xt60 connector that connects the 3d printer to the power supply that needs to come off. I templated the holes at the back and lined up the power supply 3 inches from the top. You can put it anywhere, but you may have to extend the cable. You would need spacers since the screw holes are shallow. Am using five washers as not to damage the power supply. Once secure, I made a small hole to pass the xt60 connector through and fired up the 3d printer.
We have a fully functioning 3d printer encloser but let us not stop here.
Step 8: Electronics
I started by cutting a pair of 6-inch wire to extend the cable between the 3d printer and power supply. I then added the male and female xt60 connectors with heat shrink. Using a smaller pair of scrap wire, I made tap off and soldered it to the respective pins on the regulators. Using a small flat-tip screwdriver and my multimeter, I set the output of the regulator to 12v needs for the LEDs and Fan. I next wired up the switches fans and LEDs. For the LEDs, I cut the strip into 12-inch sections and ran a wire joining each to there other. This was a lot of fun for me as I enjoy soldering. I am using a lot of heat shrink and headers to make the wire management neater.
I made sure and tested everything before moving back to the encloser.
Step 9: Fan and Lights
I used a compass to measure the radius of the fan blade and marked a centred hole on top of the enclosers. I then used a box cutter to cut it out. Next, I marked and drilled the associated screw holes. For the underside, I am putting a 3d printed this carbon filter holder to help clean the fumes coming from the printer. This required 2 inch long screws and nuts. Once that was done, I moved to make holes for the buttons. I am using a half-inch wood bit for this, and I just eyeballed these holes, making sure they were free of the metal above and to the side. Lastly, I flipped the encloser over and cleaned the ceiling with alcohol to make sure the LEDs stick well. The LEDs with be 3 inches from each other and the centerline.
Step 10: Finishing Touches
Once done, I flipped it back over, and my encloser is finished for now. The last thing I added was this cheap wifi camera that I would use to monitor the prints from my phone. I plan to add an Arduino to monitor temperature and control the power and maybe even add Octoprint, but that is for another instructables. In the end, this thing looks good and works great.