This is an instructable for making an enclosure for the very popular Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer. The main thing that you'll get out of this are the dimensions for the different pieces. Once they're cut it's simply a matter of gluing them all together into the final shape.
The reason for making an enclosure for a 3D printer that doesn't have one is to reduce the likelihood of failed prints. I first printed exclusively with PLA and had very few issues. When I switched to ABS I could barely get anything to print. After trying several different things without much success, I decided on building an enclosure. There are many people who have built enclosures for this particular printer and shared how they did it but I did not particularity like any of them.
Since my printer was in the corner of the living room on a small shelf I wanted something that would look good while also not significantly increasing the size of the printer. I decided to just enclose the build plate rather than the whole printer like most other people. I think this looks better, but more importantly, the smaller volume means that the inside of the enclosure is heated to about 10 - 12° C above room temperature. This I believe further helps with getting successful prints. Also, not enclosing the entire printer means that the electronics are not heated and should have more air flow, hopefully prolonging the printers life.
I decided to use foam board for the enclosure for several reasons. Having used it for other projects I knew that it is very easy to work with. A utility, or x-acto knife is all it takes to cut it and just about any glue will work great to hold the different pieces together. For it's weight it's surprisingly strong and rigid. Also, the 3/16" of foam has a great added benefit of acting as insulation. It also comes in a few different colors, though the paper can obviously be painted into whatever color you like.
Before moving on I'd like to state that the design is for an unmodified V1 printer. The V2 looks to be physically the same? If you made any modifications to your printer there is a very real chance that this enclosure will not work for you as designed. It's pretty much as small as I could make it. Also, in a few places the pictures do not exactly match the drawings, this is because I realized that some things could be done better.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
You will need:
- 20 x 30 inch foam board x 3. These can be found at pretty much any place that sells school supplies.
- Clear plastic for the window. I used a piece of clear plastic packaging material that I found around the house.
- Utility knife, or any other sharp cutting tool. X-acto knife works great for the rounded corners.
- Straight edge.
- Hot glue. Of course other kinds of glue work as well. Hot glue has the added benefit that it can be used to seal up all the joints. Also, hot glue can be safely used on the printer body without damaging the paint or leaving any residue should you decide that you don't like the enclosure.
Step 2: Cutting
This step is pretty self explanatory. Just cut out all the pieces per the dimensions provided.
Couple of comments:
- I rounded all the inside corners, this is totally aesthetic and up to you.
- I sandwiched the plastic window between two pieces of foam board in addition to gluing it in place. If you want, you can probably skip part #2.
- Parts #7 - #11 are for a box that covers the top of the printer, that I think helps somewhat with heat retention, but maybe not, I had leftover foam board so made it.
- The support (#7, #14, #15) could be 3D printed, but making it out of foam board is MUCH quicker and easier.
Step 3: Gluing
Glue the pieces into the assemblies shown in the drawing.
- Do not glue #7 to #14 yet.
- Do not do anything with #12 and #13 yet.
- #16 needs to be butted up against #3 centered on #6.
Step 4: Gluing to the Printer
- Glue #13 to the printer with the smaller side down and the cutout lined up with the slot in the printer.
- Glue #12 to the printer such that it butts up against #13.
- Glue the two braces #7 to the top and bottom of #12 and #13.
- Glue the support assembly (#14, #15) to the side of the printer such that the top of #14 is flush with the top deck of the printer.
Step 5: Adjusting the Support
Now, place the big box on the printer. At this point make note of where the last #7 should be glued to #14 to help position the big box and then glue it.
The little box just goes on top of the printer to cover the extruder motor.
Congratulations! Your're Finished!