Makerbot Replicator Enclosure (No Laser Needed)

by Davecc, published

Makerbot Replicator Enclosure (No Laser Needed) by Davecc Jul 1, 2012
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This is my newly designed and built Makerbot Replicator Enclosure that does not require a laser cutter to make. It can be built using your Makerbot Replicator, a band saw, drill press, and one screw driver for assembly. It uses 1/4 inch thick acrylic plastic for all the clear parts so that it will not sag because it is to light weight for the sizes that are needed. It cost less than half of what it would be to have the parts laser cut for you. The top hood and front window opening are easily removed in seconds without tools so it is simple to access the Makerbot when you want to make adjustments, print a part or remove finished parts.


The first step in creating the enclosure is to cut out all of the clear acrylic plastic parts using a band saw and a drill press. The only part that is a little complicated to make is the front window. In the top center of the part is a 1/4 inch radius shown on the drawing for the part. To make this radius first drill a 1/2 inch hole and then mark the rest of the profile per the drawing provided. Do not remove any of the plastic film that is normally on acrylic plastic panels. This protects the part while you are cutting, drilling or sanding edges. It also makes it easier to mark the part as a Sharpie pen works best and the marks will not remain on the part once it is completed when the plastic film is removed just before final assembly.
The complete assembly is put together using a variety of brackets printed on the Makerbot and held together using 10-32 x 1 inch machine bolts and nuts. Forty-two bolts and nuts are required for the assembly. All Makerbot parts have recessed areas for the nuts so no wrench is needed to put the assembly together. Just a screw driver is all you will need. Refer to the parts illustration as to the correct location of each part. The corner mounts #1 and #2 are bolted together first for each corner. The recessed nuts will sit just below the surface of the assembly so it will mount easily onto to the Makerbot Replicator
Take your time with the cutting and drilling as all holes are 1/4 inch which will allow tolerance to be built into the design to allow for correct fit when assembly is underway. All hood panels should sit flush with the top inner surface of the Makerbot so that holes will line up for the bolts to be installed. If the bottom edge of a panel does not sit flush then recut the notches that are in the panels on both ends to clear the mated printed Makerbot corner pieces. This will allow for better alignment of mounting holes in the assembly.
After all acrylic parts have been cut, sand edges smooth using sand paper being careful not to scuff the facing surfaces. The side windows for the Makerbot Replicator are drilled and cut to make the slots for assembly into the Makerbot. To hold these parts in place you will need to print out "Side Panel Clips" by Etrohn found here on Thingiverse. These are quick and easy to print on the Makerbot and easy to install in the assembly. If you should need more information and photos of this build please check out my blog site for more help. Thetinkersworkshop.blogspot.com

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I am using 10-32 x 3/4in machine screws and nuts. 1in is too long.

I was just wondering where you purchased the bolts from?

The hardware needed for the design can be purchased at most any hardware or home and builders store. Very standard items.

Okay thanks I think I have found the right ones on amazon

3DPrintClean is developing an Odor and Ultrafine Particle filtration attachment for DIY enclosures. Would make a great addition. See http://3dprintclean.com/3dprintclean-scrubber.htm - Disclosure, I am the founder of 3DPrintClean.

Comments deleted.

With the right end panel installed, it seems like the cables to the servo motor on the right rail would rub against the door. Has that been a problem?

The cables to the servo motor on the right hand side of the Makerbot do come very close to the right end panel when it is installed. I have had this set up on my Makerbot for over two and a half years without any problems. It just keeps cranking out parts day after day.

Dude, this work is amazing!
Thanks for your share, will build this and hope all things are uploaded and okay.

Thanks in Advance and greets from Germany.

Maybe you can add the PDF Files with mm ?
Its easier for other People, who doesnt use inches.

how were your side windows attached? i see little tabs but not the file for them.love the design almost done printing

Comments deleted.

The top hood is removable. Pick it up and it's off or on in a half second. No tools required. Easy as it could be.

That looks nice but one thing i wonder, doesnt this make filament changes a royal pain having that top hood on there? I sometimes change colors 5-6 times a week.

I can't seem to find the clips that held together the side windows, can you tell me where I can find them. My build is going great!! Thanks for a great design.

I thought I was going crazy with not being able to make dimensionally accurate parts ;). I has the same problem with the corner channels (to a lesser extent), but with a little encouragement from a mallet, they fit just fine. The top door clips would not fit so nicely. I attached a picture of my build so you can see it. If I have to, I'll print a new set of top blocks and run a 1/4" endmill through them, but I was hoping it would be easier to fix the design file.

I had to do some checking on the computer model as it has been some time since I looked at it. The actual dimension of 1/4 inch plexiglass (from Lowes) is actually .22 in thickness. I set up the parts to work with this thickness as I could not buy actual 1/4 inch thick plexiglass near my home. This is the reason for the problems that you are having with the front clip. The simplest thing for you to do with the front clip is to sand the slot before you try to put the plexiglass into it. The difference in the size of the slot is minimal so it should not take much to make it fit with actual 1/4 inch plexiglass.

Ok got the hood built, but I'm having trouble with the top front door bracket (chip front window upper). It has a slot cut in it that the door is supposed to slip into that the bolts go through, but the slot is not wide enough to accomodate 0.250 plate. I tried putting it on with a mallet, but it kind of deformed the bracket. The one I made out of 1/8" looks great and fits the flashforge creator perfectly. I already got all the 0.250 stuff cut, I just have to change the blocks over, and it should do nicely. Any help with the front plate? Thanks

To hold these parts in place you will need to print out "Side Panel Clips" by Etrohn found here on Thingiverse. Also the Bracket Rear Upper Right is the same part as the Bracket Rear Upper Left part. Just use the same part for both locations.

Also BRACKET REAR UPPER RIGHT is missing from the design files

What clips hold the side windows in, they were not included in the design files?

where can I get the drawings for the plexiglass sizes for this?

The dimensions for all of the plexiglass sizes are in the PDF files that you will need to download when you download all the other files for the 3D printed parts you will make for this project.

All the files for the parts that you need to make are in the download including the detailed drawings for the plexi-glass parts.

in the drawing for the side window, at the bottom in the detail, there is a round ended slot with a radius of 1/8" and a diameter of 3/16".  Would you clarify?

Hey Dave - Awesome design. :)

Trying to do this on a CNC router. Do you happen to have the angles of the cuts for the front and side doors?

Thank you sir!

The angles for the front door is 45 degrees on both outer angles with an 80 degree angle for the center "V" in the part. The side doors have a 46.7 degree angle on both sides. I hope this helps. Either way the dimensions that are given in the drawings will give you the same result.

Perfect, thank you sir.

Got all the Lexan cut out, printing brackets now!


Have a great weekend.

Love your design but I can
’t figure out what’s wrong with the files? I can’t modify them at all? What I mean is I open them in Rep G and rotate and put them on the platform but once I have done so it will not let me save the modified file? I can resave the original but as soon as I move or rotate it I can’t lol. Any
idea why?

The files that I have here are straight ordinary STL files created using ProE software.... and industry standard. I would look into reloading your ReplicatorG software or making sure that your using the latest version. Either of these may be the problem.

Have you tested it for large prints. for example, printing the mexican pliers on thingiverse will cost you over 5 hours to print. Does it overheat due to lack of ventilation on large prints? I'd like to build it if it doesn't overheat. Thanks.

I've ran parts for over three hours and have not had any problems. Seems to work just fine.