Printer Enclosure Cut List (Parametric)

by CodeCreations, published

Printer Enclosure Cut List (Parametric) by CodeCreations Dec 31, 2012

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This parametric OpenSCAD file will help you make a simple and easy-to-build printer case. The build output includes a full cut list and includes an estimate of the enclosed volume so you can choose an appropriate ventilation system, if desired.

The default units are in inches, but you can use whatever you want because this won't actually get printed.

As an example, the cut list output looks something like this:
ECHO: "Cut grooves in frame structure to 0.1875 deep."
ECHO: "Cut windows a hair small so fit is not too snug."
ECHO: "Frame components are organized Left, Right, Bottom, Top."
ECHO: "Enclosure is about 2.20269 cubic feet."
ECHO: "Table", [16, 19, 0.75]
ECHO: "Front Frame", [15.75, 0.75, 0.75], "", "Back"
ECHO: "Front Frame", [15.75, 0.75, 0.75], "", "Back"
ECHO: "Front Frame", [14.5, 0.75, 0.75], "", ""


Change "User-defined values" to define the maximum interior size your printer needs to operate. (e.g. move to the maximums and minimums of each axis. Then render with F5. Copy and paste all the echo output for a complete cut list, including "glass" (plastic, hardboard, etc) panels.

The frame pieces in the cut list include "Back" and/or "Front", which indicates where the grooves belong for adding the panels. The grooves are always either on one side or on two adjacent sides (and one piece gets no grooves), but never on opposite sides. You will probably need to chisel a few small portions so that the groove goes all the way around.

For wood to build the case, go to your local lumber yard and ask for moulding or trim with a square profile, or mill it yourself if you have the tools. (If you don't have a table saw, you'll probably need to get someone to cut the grooves for you so you can add the panels.) The one in the photo was milled from reclaimed maple board. Square profile molding probably isn't so common that you'll find it at a large home center (like Lowes), but lumber yards should have it or be able to get it.

I used wood glue alone for the front, back, and door frames, and used wood screws (with no glue) for the four pieces that connect the front and back so that it can be collapsed if necessary. If you do this, be sure to pre-drill the holes because you're going into end grain and you don't want it to split. Because the glue is end-to-edge grain, probably won't hold up well to a lot of abuse. If you need something sturdier, consider using a wooden dowel, which would still allow you to drill out the holes for the wood screws like I have it.

The "glass" panels are clear acrylic sheet, cut to size on a table saw, and the bottom is a bit of 3/4" plywood reclaimed from a server box pallet.

I'm venting the case, so I mounted the door so it was pretty close on the top and right, and filled the hinged gap with insulation. This leaves a gap at the bottom front where fresh air can be sucked in.

You may want to include these options, as well:

  • Vertical Board Anchor (to stabilize feet): http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39778
  • Case Lid Position Guide (to stabilize lid): http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39780
  • Tube Adapter Flange with Optional Grating (for venting): http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38813
  • Cable Plug Hole Cover (for passing through wires): http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38819
  • Filament Pass-Through: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39782
  • Knob with Latch: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39974

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I wondered about the box you were using with the pass-through. Well done.

Thanks! :) Can you tell I've been too lazy to change out the green filament? lol

So is the box for a heat chamber, sound control, or fume management? Or all of the above?

I guess all of the above -- but my goal was really to just manage the fumes. I also think it'll be useful at demonstrations, so kids don't touch the hot parts or tinker with the wires.

After I get some mileage on this one and refine it if necessary, I'll probably make one for the Prusa Mendel, too.