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How to DIY 3D printer enclosures | Cheap and easy solution

Spencer Hill 3d model
Spencer Hill 19:01 10-31
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Is your 3D printer not printing the way it used to? The machine may be exposed to external factors such as dust, fluctuating temperature, and air currents. In addition, the 3D printing quality is also varying because of the room/office condition and the material. 

If you face these issues, it is time to learn about 3D printing enclosures. The encasement is necessary if you are using ABS or PETG material. However, for PLA, it is an individual choice. Here is why you should purchase a 3D printer enclosure. 

3D printing enclosures

What does a 3D printer enclosure do?

If you are still unsure about purchasing a 3D printer enclosure, we suggest reading the following advantages that will positively impact your projects:

  • 3D printer enclosures will regulate the internal temperature by keeping the heat inside. Furthermore, it will prevent sudden drops in temperature through printing. As a result, the object does not cool down too fast.
  • 3D printer enclosures are well known to enhance the project’s quality. It will result in excellent dimensions with consistent output. Resultantly, the plastic does not shrink autonomously, hurting the integrity of the 3D printing item.
  • Did you know a 3D printer enclosure will regulate harmful gasses too? A 3D printer will exude harmful gasses that can adversely impact the user’s health. Therefore, an encasement becomes a ventilation system that safely releases gases from the workplace.
  • When it comes to 3D printing, humidity is your arch-enemy. Therefore, a 3D print will make it impossible for humidity to enter the 3D printing area. As a result, the casing complements the printing in a well-monitored environment.
  • Besides preventing dust and fires, a 3D printer enclosure also has aesthetic value. The accessory will impress friends and family. You can consider it a “making-it” sign in the 3D printing industry.

What is the difference between enclosed and open 3D printers?

When one thinks about what a 3D printer enclosure looks like, one imagines a cubical frame with a 3D printer inside it. However, there are a lot more differences between the forms of printers:

Enclosed 3D printer

  • The closed 3D printer offers superior-quality printing. However, it is challenging to clean. 
  • The enclosed printer looks expertly put together. It will impress the clients and colleagues too. Unfortunately, it makes replacing the printing parts very difficult.
  • An enclosed 3D printer will print the items professionally. However, the walls and material opacity may obstruct the printing view.
  • You can walk away from an enclosed 3D printing while doing its job. It will continue to print in its safe environment.

Open 3D printers

  • 3D printers without enclosure results in easy monitoring. However, the output is not the quality as an enclosed 3D printer.
  • An open 3D printer is easier to clean. However, the appearance does not justify the device’s function, as it looks like a playful toy.
  • It is easy to install and repair parts because there is no obstruction (enclosure). 
  • Lastly, there is no dust or wind-protective encasement. As a result, the parts may require replacement sooner than expected.

How to DIY 3D printer enclosures - cheap and easy solution

3D printer enclosures are a rare find. They are not always readily in the market. As a result, the 3D printer collects dust and depreciates quicker. Therefore, we have compiled a list of DIY 3D printer enclosures that will provide excellent results based on the following factors:

  • Usability

Enclosed or reused are the two forms of 3D printer enclosures. Regardless, the design must accommodate easy printing. Therefore, the list does not include enclosures that must be completely disassembled to access the 3D printer.

  • Price

Today's discussion intends to provide cost-effective alternatives to high-end, costly 3D printer enclosures. Therefore, the substitutes below can be constructed from inexpensive products that cost way less than mass-scale commercial production.

  • Attributes

3D printer enclosures must offer an excellent feature to provoke its use. Attributes such as transparent walls, better ventilation, and visual updates are crucial to its performance. The enclosure mentioned below prevents the temperature from rising and offers long-term use. 3D printer enthusiasts also prefer in-built cameras and sensors for remote observation. However, these services are expensive in a 3D printer enclosure. 

  • 3D printer safety

One core attribute to assess the performance of 3D printer enclosures is user safety. It is not surprising that 3D printing temperatures run very high. Therefore, the materials that construct the enclosure must be made of fire-resistant material. They must not be fire-hazard. In short, user and printer safety are essential to consider when setting a closure.

  • Enhanced quality

The device must complement the 3D printer enclosures rather than work against them. An enclosure will increase your 3D printer knowledge. On the other hand, it will reduce the effort while simultaneously increasing 3D printing quality. Hobbyists and enthusiasts are excited to experience high-quality results with a 3D printer enclosure. 

3.1. IKEA 3D Printer Enclosure

Are you searching for the most popular 3D printer enclosure? The IKEA 3D printer enclosure offers an elegant look. Furthermore, the design accommodates the printer’s tandem too. The IKEA 3D enclosure will work for many areas. However, remember to adjust the printer’s height for accomplished results.

IKEA 3D Printer Enclosure

Purchase two to three Ikea Lack Tables. Put them on top to create a stack to house the 3D printer. You can enclose the device into the Ikea items using plexiglass. It will offer easy access without complicating the printing. Furthermore, Ikea Lack stacking will also welcome 3D printing accessories and other tools.

Individuals are genius thinkers who prevent drilling tables that do not add stability to the printing. Moreover, the enclosure makes it easier to install and disassemble the printer. When thinking of a 3D printer enclosure, the user must factor in the accessories and filament guides.

For easy installation, you must place the filament at top of the 3D printer enclosures. Stacking the three Lack tables from Ikea will cost you an estimated $70.

3.2. Photography Tent

When we talk about using a 3D printer enclosure, we primarily need it to keep the device separate from other applications. An enclosure will prevent dust from gathering. Furthermore, a 3D printer will keep the internal temperature steady for optimal results. If you are looking for these benefits at an affordable price, then a photography tent is the answer.

A photography tent for a 3D printer enclosure is constructed from a synthetic fabric, usually white in color. The flexible material becomes a light diffuser, so the 3D printing items are well-lit. As a result, you can take professional pictures of 3D printing in progress for your social media profiles to boost sales.

Photography Tent

One of the significant letdowns of the photography tent is that they are flammable. Therefore, the user must supervise the printing safely. In addition, do not purchase a photography tent that is too big for the area. You need sufficient space to access the 3D printer and assess its performance. 

The photography tent comes at an estimated cost of less than $40 with minimum difficulty.

3.3. Creality Enclosure

The next mention on the list of 3D printer enclosures is not a DIY option. It is designed to support the 3D printer with its features specifically. A Creality 3D printer enclosure can be expensive as it is for exclusive use. However, it is reliable and durable. Thus, safeguarding the expensive 3D printer placed inside.

The enclosure offers easy access to the 3D printer. Moreover, they are portable too. In addition, the Creality enclosure is not flammable. It is constructed from flame-resistant material that does not require separate assembly. 

Creality Enclosure

The walls are made from a transparent material so you can assess the project’s development. In addition, the power supply has a safety system too. As a result, it adds stability and reliability to the equation. 3D printer operates in a safe environment.

3D printing enclosure is resistant to water. It does not push filament unevenly too. If the filament breaks, the printer will autonomously continue printing when the new filament is inserted. The price of the Creality Enclosure depends on the 3D printer model, usually less than $100. 

3.4. Storage Boxes

The last mention on the list of 3D printer enclosures is storage boxes. The option is a do-it-yourself idea that can accommodate different printer sizes. However, the build is straightforward. You do not need advanced tools or a professional mindset to build a 3D printer from storage boxes.

Storage Boxes

Go to your nearest convenience store to purchase storage boxes. You must ensure they are see-through. Otherwise, you cannot assess the progress. Furthermore, you can organize the boxes easily too. You can stack them according to the room layout or 3D printer placement.

The storage boxes will cost you between $30 to $40. Penetrate the box with a tool to create holes. The step is pivotal for ventilation. In addition, don’t forget to create slits too. It can result in easy printer placement. Moreover, the cables will look cleaner too.

Regardless of the printer, you must ensure the storage box 3D printer enclosure is not true to the size. The printing temperature can become extreme. Since most plastics are not flame-resistant, you risk causing an accident.

Can I 3D print a 3D printer enclosure?

Yes, you can print a 3D printer enclosure with a 3D printer. However, the process requires technical and engineering know-how. Therefore, we encourage consulting with a professional before you begin. In addition, the individual must study the material and its features before commanding the printer to create the enclosure.

Conclusion

A 3D printer enclosure is an excellent choice for hobbyists, enthusiasts, and 3D printing business owners. It will enhance the item quality and accommodate using multiple materials too. Furthermore, it guarantees you and your employees’ safety if you run a print-on-demand company. You can create a DIY 3D printer enclosure from the options mentioned above. On the other hand, you can purchase a 3D printer that already comes with an enclosure. Unfortunately, that will cost you extra.

That said, the choice is yours. Nonetheless, one cannot ignore the importance of a 3D printer enclosure.

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