a flightcase for a prusa

by crankbmx, published

a flightcase for a prusa by crankbmx Dec 11, 2011


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i wanted something to put my printer in so i build it a flightcase
things i wanted:

  • it had to look cool, so no square box
  • it had to be able to print, both open and closed
  • L shaped, so i could add a spool holder
  • windows to see it print
  • less than 1/2 sheet wood (flightcase wood is very expensive, and most vendors will sell you a 4ft by 4ft sheet)

all in all, flightcases aren't cheap, and mine came out at 180€ with everything
there are 2 good flightcase suppliers (adam hall and penn) about 98% of all flightcases i see at my job are from one or the other
on this one i used adam hall material, so i'll provide you a part list from them


flightcases are not that hard to make, but this one is a bit special,
so if you are lost, take it to your local theater or P.A. firm and ask for some help.

cut the wood according to the plan, you may need to add or lose 1mm depending how thick your wood is. (plan is for 10mm)

nail the box together with thin nails (use closing lids in between the 2 parts of the back, see the pictures)

add the closing lids
add the corner profiles (at the corners they just need to connect, no need to cut them under a angle, the ball corner will cover them)
to make them in a 135° angle, take a wood block of about 8 by 8 by 50 cm,
cut it half way length wise under 22,5°. flip it over and cut it again.
now use this in a vise to turn the 90° aluminium in 135°

add the corner balls
cut out the parts to add the butterfly catches and add them
add some handles

the parts i added in the parts list is for the very basic, you can go a lot further like i did, or even go way over the top.
this is what i did extra:

  • added windows (made them myself from tour label dishes and 5mm plexi)
  • added 5mm foam inside
  • made a chamber for the Power supply with spare parts and a cooling dish)
  • added 4 feet
  • added corner braces
  • added sunk in handles
  • added a dish with 2 D size holes (put a neutric usb connector in one, left the other open for later upgrades)

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I am building one for my Prusa i3 from a regular 8 unit dj case and was wondering how did you make those windows??
The metal frame from the window looks really nice and it looks like its made of one piece...

These windows i made myself.
You can get a smaller one that's mostly used to check the numbers of moving heads or monitor speakers, but those are to small.
What i did is buy 2 A5 tour labels (http://www.adamhall.com/en/ah_Hardware_Tour_Label_-_Dish_for_88001_Tour_Label.html)
i cut out room for them on the flightcase, but didn't mount them yet. then i sunk a border of 5mm wide and 3mm deep around the cut out part with a router. i cut 2 pieces of plexi glass to fit from the inside. then i cut the tour label frame in half on it's flat side with a angle grinder with a thin disc, so it's now only 4mm thick, and the back is gone. then install the tour lable with pop rivits that are to long, and attach a washer on the back to hold the plexi in place. finish of with a little silicone on the front, and a thin foam sheet on the inside.

I wish that I had the tools to make one of these for my Kossel Air.

This is amazing, you should sell them!!!

What we really need is printible replacements for all the aluminum extrusions. And the catches.

this is out-of-control awesome. kudos for the great effort!

Very nice -- I could have done with that before moving my prusa to Germany ... by taking it completely apart, and then rebuilding it at the other end, which did mean that it fit into my backpack along with a load of clothes and other stuff, so probably an easier carry to the airport.

The reason I took mine to bits was that I couldn't think of a way of supporting the X carriage such that a heavy knock wouldn't end up with the hot-end wandering about and getting smashed up, so I abandoned my thoughts of flight cases.

I suppose if there was custom-cut foam that one could slot in
around it, that would do the trick, but I don't see much evidence of padding in your photos -- have you had any thoughts on the matter?

my plan is to move X all the way up for long(risky) transport, and just put a

the 4 legs can be bolted to the bottom if needed so the printer can't move around in the case.

custom cut foam would be awesome, and i'm probably going to do it, but i don't think everyone has access to 3D foam cutter.

however, it would not hard to print a piece that fit's between the Z-motors and the top of the case.
now i have to find someone with a 3D printer...

Wooooooow, can I get one of these? [email protected] 8-)

you've got mail...

You mention the L shape so you could add a spool holder. Do you currently have it setup for the spool holder, or is this something you have to add yet, and how do you plan to add it?

it's not on there yet, i just figured i would add one some day.

there are some spool holders on here already that should be easy to attach

If you were printing with the cover off, you could put a couple rod holders inside your cover near the corners, and cut a rod that fits in the right length.

Very cool work! Any idea how heavy the case is?

it's heavy, probably 10kg or so, it's all real flightcase material so you can probably hit it with a car and still be ok.

if you want it light you can make one with astroboard and easy case material:


i made a flightcase for my bmx from that and it's under 4kg

The awesomeness factor is off the scale!

very cool!

it could double as frosting-fridge or heating-chamber for ABS