Acrylic windows and hood without laser cutting acrylic sheet
CTC Dual (Makerbot clone)
This is for a CTC dual printer
Supports may be required for the side window slots
Some fettling may be required to clean hinge mating surfaces
Front door hinges re-mixed from Drandolph's
3mm acrylic 1500mm x 500mm should do it.
Check the measurements against the printer. The bends are done by hand so the radius will vary slightly. Dimensions between printer versions may vary too. the finished edge of the hood sits on the vertical timber edge all round the printer.
Bend the hood before trimming to length.
I ended up with one large slot rather than 3 small ones for cables and filaments
Round the corners of the hood sides to match the finished bend radius of the main hood.
I used a cheap electric (diamond saw) tile cutter to cut the acrylic. No water.
To make the hood:
1) Clamp the work-piece to the bench sitting on top of 20mm timber with a 18-20mm diameter dowel (broom handle) to form the bends sitting along the edge of the bench.
2) Gradually and evenly heat the acrylic along the full length of the bend with a hot air gun until the acrylic starts to become pliable. It took me about 5 minutes of heating to reach this point.
3) Keeping the heat going and pushing a length of timber against the sheet to keep the bend straight over the full length of the acrylic
4) Form the bend round the dowel and check the angle with a set square. Remove heat. It's hot so use gloves. Hold in position whilst it cools over several minutes.
5) Progressively round the corners of the hood sides to fit inside the radius of the hood bends. It is likely they will be slightly different at each side unless you managed to get a perfect bend.
6) Glue the sides to the hood and hold in place with strong tape to get a tight mating. Use masking tape along the hood and side edges to protect against glue seepage. I used a general purpose hard plastic glue. 'Superglue' didn't work.
7) Leave overnight to fully cure.
Set to a 45 degree fence on the tile saw and trim the front edge to length. It is a bit awkward as the thing is bulky to handle Trim off the rear edge if needed. Firmly clamp the rear of the hood between 2 sheets of timber (contiboard again) and using a hole saw cut through one piece of timber and the acrylic together. Cut the tangents from the hole down to the bottom edge to form a semi rounded slot. I used a 67mm hole saw to form a single slot for cables and filaments.
I used cut down mandrels of pop rivets. Drilling out the holes in the top halves (door side) of the front door hinges and the centres (hood) of the hood hinges. The 'printed' holes provided a good interference fit. The hinge mating faces need filing smooth. Set the door hinges up so the clearance is good relying on push fit then mark and drill the holes for 3mm screws. Only drill out the front of the hinge holes and the timber . The screws cut their own thread in the un-drilled rear holes.
Fit the strips to the left and right corners of the bottom edge of the side openings. They and handed. slot in the bottom of the acrylic. Mark and drill holes so that the top clips can rotate up to engage the top of the window opening ensuring the clips won't foul on the Y axis motor cables. Using the same technique as the hinges drill out the front of the clip and sandwich the acrylic between the clips using a screw to self-tap into the rear half of the clip.
Use cut-down pop rivet mandrels to fix the hinges together. Slide the clip through the triangular holes in the rear corners of the printer so that the clip is flush. Slide the hood down into the upper slots in the clips. The hood should hinge up or can be fully removed altogether