The need to protect 3D printers is very practical, and the solution is a set of 3D printer enclosures to protect external agents that can affect the machine.
Although a printer cabinet offers many advantages, not everyone is suitable. So you must know all the pros and cons of a 3D printer enclosure. In this post, we will show you a list of ideas for additional safety and functionality protection for your 3D prints and large or small 3D printers. Maybe you'll decide to make one for yourself.
There are many good reasons for using 3D printer housings, not least of which they can control the atmosphere around printing operations. You can control temperature and airflow, often resulting in much higher print quality.
Of course, this refers to "open format" 3D printers, which are essentially mechanical rigs that open up to the outside. These are low-cost machines, but the lack of a cover might exacerbate heart problems. Meanwhile, there are plenty of more costly 3D printers with built-in casings, and their owners are unlikely to worry if a third-party case is used.
The enclosure can perform several other functions, including safety functions lacking on the original device. Speaking of “missing,” this reminds me of perhaps the most common method for creating enclosures for small desktop 3D printers: the Missing method.
This involves purchasing a few “Missing” end panels from your local IKEA and gluing transparent acrylic panels to form an enclosure. It sounds crazy, but many people apply this method because it is inexpensive. And that gets you just one siege; you have no thermal control. The heat in such an enclosure is generated only by captured stray heat from the printing plate.
While a plastic 3D printer is enclosed, an FDM machine mainly comprises a frame and bed and does not have a printer cabinet.
Enthusiasts working with PLA at 60˚C can run their Creality Ender 3, CR-10, Anet A8, and other devices without needing an additional box. However, those doing ABS figurines and projects at 105˚C (221°F) will benefit from a DIY 3D printer case.
The printer cabinet is a shell (box) that keeps the temperature inside, protecting this area from dust, dirt and warping. It plays an essential role in stabilizing “air heat” and helping the first layers to adhere well.
You need a 3D printer case if:
You want the temperature in the printing area to be more stable when printing with ABS and protect your FDM printer from dust
You need to organize your workspace;
You hope to reduce noise when 3D printing;
You want the printer cabinet to minimize toxic fumes that appear while you print with ABS.
What you have to decide:
How much can you spend on a DIY 3D printer case set;
Are you okay with a cheap look, or are you worried about aesthetics;
Whether you need to access your 3D printer or you want to limit access for your kids and pets.
When you get all the answers, you need to decide. Prefer a DIY 3D printer enclosure or a well-made pre-made accessory for the Creality Ender 3, CR-10, Anet A8, or another machine?
It doesn't matter if you add good ventilation to the room and extraction system to release harmful fumes or not. You can always make your own DIY 3D printer enclosure from household items and turn other products into a box.
And decide if you want to place all components (fiber tubes, power supplies, monitors, control panels) inside the printer cabinet or outside. It is best to choose a non-combustible material for a DIY 3D printer case instead of conventional canisters, polystyrene, and other flammable materials. Besides, a smoke detector inside the box will help you prevent a fire.
The simplest, fastest, and cheapest DIY 3D printer case is made with a shipping box. You can find large card cases in many households and at post offices. You can go with a larger size than your home machine with enough space for all the moving parts.
It's quick to cut out the "windows" and "doors" in your cardholder and place it through the 3D printer. If you need to upgrade the machine or access it, all you have to do is remove your DIY cabinet.
Pros: cheap (usually 100% free), easy to get, and fast.
Cons: flammable, extremely dangerous, requires smoke detectors and your control.
There are many clear plastic containers on the market that you can turn into DIY 3D printer cases. You will need time, some skill, and guidance (or your imagination) to build such a printer cabinet. But the variety of containers makes it easy to find the right size and price.
Sometimes you will have to combine two or even three plastic cases if you need a tall or super-wide enclosure. It may be necessary to cut windows, holes for cables, open and close doors, etc. Many enthusiasts use plexiglass, a clear, solid plastic made of polymethacrylate because it is strong and does not break as easily as glass.
Pros: Transparent walls allow you to watch the 3D printing process and provide great customization opportunities to build your perfect printer cabinet.
Cons: it can be expensive, takes time to assemble or build from scratch, is flammable, dangerous, requires smoke detectors.
Although they always cost money, professional and portable photography studio tents and lightboxes can make a great 3D printer case.
A box like this might serve two purposes. On the one hand, it can aid in temperature control within the 3D printer cabinet. On the other side, you may use it to photograph your final 3D prints professionally.
Pros: There's no need to cut "windows" and "doors," the models within your machine are well-lit, and you can snap amazing images of your 3D prints.
Cons: it can be expensive for large 3D printers, explosive, dangerous, and requires smoke detectors.
Usually, there is no need to buy boxes and look for a photography studio tent. You probably have old wooden furniture in your home, which you can transform from an ordinary dresser into a perfect 3D printer enclosure. Of course, such work requires time, equipment, and money for finishing and reassembling additional parts, but the results can be impressive.
Wooden cabinets have doors made of wood so that You can replace the doors with heat-resistant glass. This way, you can see through and see your 3D printer in action. Besides, it would be great if you could invest in fireproof treatments for the walls and roof of the wooden cabinets.
Pros: Upgrading an old wardrobe can give your furniture a second life. You can customize everything to your needs.
Cons: expensive, time-consuming, requires smoke detectors and flame retardant treatments.
Not every 3D printing enthusiast is ready to make a DIY printer cabinet out of cardboard, plastic boxes, IKEA Lacks sideboards, metal, glass, or other materials. Some users are happy to receive a factory-made accessory for Creality CR-10, Ender 3, Anet A8, another machine.
The factory manufactures out-of-the-box chassis for various 3D printers. Thus, even without the machine included, you can also order a special box of fireproof, dustproof material.
You want to keep the temperature constant while your Creality Ender 3 or Ender 5 runs. Then you might be interested in getting the official Ender 3 siege. The market has a lot of offers, and you can find different sizes of this printer cabinet.
An enclosure like this costs roughly $80-$100 and generally comprises the aluminum film and fireproof material that will only melt in the case of a fire. The structure is light and simple to assemble. You may fold it for storage and benefit from the great noise suppression when not in use.
You can find a universal cabinet for around $60-$100 to fit many 3D printers, including the Creality CR-10, CR-20, and others. Such CR 10 enclosures usually provide tool pockets, folding storage, dustproof and fireproof material (pure aluminum foil).
When attached, your 3D printer will stay securely in the folding case. Its purpose is to stabilize and maintain temperature, improve print quality, and protect your machine from dust.
Although you can find ready-to-purchase Creality CR-10, CR-20, Ender 5, and Ender 3 enclosures, similar accessories are unavailable to Anet A8 users. However, you can get one of the folding cabinets designed for other machines sized to fit your particular 3D printer. Also, there are tons of great tutorials and videos on how to make one on the internet.
A great set of 3D printer enclosures can improve the lives of FDM hobbyists and protect your devices from dust (when not in use). It also helps maintain stable temperatures, improves the quality of 3D prints made of ABS filament, and reduces warping problems. You can make such a printer cabinet yourself or buy ready-made accessories.
Depending on the type of 3D printer you will find the right enclosure. If you're looking for high-end printer products, read now: 5 ANYCUBIC 3D PRINTER MODELS WORTH PURCHASING FOR YOUR PROJECT