Prusa Mendel Electronics Shelf Mount
by ChatterComa, published
One of the shortcomings of the Prusa Mendel design is that, while the mechanical print mechanism is brilliant, it doesn't really have any provision for the associated electronics. I have seen Mendels where the driver boards are just flopping around on the table next to the printer; I've also seen clamps and other things to affix the RAMPS and Arduino boards in hard-to-see positions on the side of the frame, etc. None of this is too satisfactory.
I wanted something that worked better, so I augmented the normal frame vertex part for the printer with a rearward-facing projection that can be used as a shelf support. This lets you put a wooden (e.g.) shelf up high and to the rear of the printer, and attach your electronics to that as needed. This arrangement makes the entire printer into a solid one-piece unit that can be lifted and moved without problems, and also puts the electronics up high where you can see them easily and make intricate connections without hurting yourself. It's also a nice "centralized" location, so the wire runs from the motors, switches, and heaters are short.
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(1) Print two of the "extended" frame vertex parts from this page. ABS is probably best since these parts will not only form the new top of your printer's frame, but will also mount and hold your electronics shelf. Drill the holes that will take the threaded rod to 8.5mm. Drill the shelf mounting holes to 4mm.
(2) Replace the two existing top vertices on your printer with the new parts. The printer should be just like before, with the addition of a couple of arms sticking out towards the rear of the printer.
(3) Make a shelf that spans the arms and is big enough to hold you electronics and connectors. I used 1/2" MDF, but anything would work. The dimensions are not critical. Mount the shelf using 4mm bolts and nuts to fit. Note that the underside of the support has hexagonal openings that will capture the nuts and hold them in place.
(4) Mount your electronics and anything else as needed on the top surface of the shelf.