Enclosure for 8" Makerfarm Prusa i3

by moczys, published

Enclosure for 8" Makerfarm Prusa i3 by moczys Jan 3, 2015
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A printer enclosure made to reduce printing noise, reduce temperature fluctuations, and contain plastic fumes. Constructed from 3/4" MDF board, 12mm Baltic Birch sides, a removeable polycarbonate door panel, and a number of custom made parts printed in PLA. Take a look at the full design and build process at my website: http://moczys.com/2015/01/02/3d-printer-enclosure-design/

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I would also like the solidworks file if you have it, it would be a lot easier than dissecting the STL file.

is the printer decent??? i may consider getting one

Apr 17, 2016 - Modified Apr 17, 2016

this gave me inspiration to make my own, though that front "angle" would limit the total build volume unless the front edge of the bed was at it's peak height. So technically for me anyway (with a 10x10x10 build volume) a full size 10" wide by 10" tall print from the front to the back would just hit the glass door once it got high enough. Just making it completely square was more ideal, plus it would of had to be a much larger box if not and with 3/4 MDF it already weights more than twice the printers own weight, but it's stable so there's that :)

For maintenance, i've used some old PSU/MB Molex connector/s that are inside the box you can plug/unplug without issue. outside you can also put a plug to the ramps or just solder directly to the other side of it. it's important it's modular in this case or adjusting/fixing will be a pain. Some removable side windows would help a bit i suppose too.

Can you upload the SW file?

what can i open this with to get the dimensions? i tried fusion 360 and it opened but i couldn't get any dimensions.

MiniMagics is a free STL viewer that allows you to cut cross sections and also take point-to-point measurements. You can download it here:

Also, Meshlab will open STL files and allow you to take measurements and also make modifications to the mesh. You can download that here:

Good luck!

Thank you for this very usefull design !!
Please, have you got a link to the thing file you use for the reel coil ?

Glad you like it! The spool holder is another one of my designs located here:

Universal Spool Holder
by moczys

Very nice design, considering making my own version of it but with some of the bells and whistles removed, like the rounded top edge and real wood sides, I only have access to MDF and my woodworking skills aren't all that fancy, cooling is an issue I guess though, although you can just move the electronics outside the main enclosure, I plan on putting the RAMPS board on the back of the case along with the PSU, only things in need of cooling then are the motors, the z and y axis ones are fairly easy, can just add a housing around them on the inside of the case and open up the bottom of the case below them to blow on them from underneath without cooling the rest of the interior, the x and extruder motors are harder, X could go into a vertical chamber of sorts I guess though that'll spill some, only solution I can think off for extruder is to switch to bowden or flex shaft to make that motor fixed in place as well.

I hear some people have experimented with water cooling but even with flexible tubes that seems fraught with problems.

May 5, 2015 - Modified May 5, 2015
moczys - in reply to KriLL3

Thanks for commenting! I've been toying with the idea for a while to convert this to a bowden setup and mount all of the stepper/slide components directly to the interior of the enclosure with printed brackets. I think that might be my next long-term project!

Make sure to post the results if you decide to make the enclosure!

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.

Nice build! have you figure out the cooling for the stepper motor? I thinking of building an enclosure for my prusa i3 and will be printing ABS,

very nice.
Can you tell if the stepper motor are getting hot? or do you have some special cooling system to keep them cool inside this chamber?
Have you printed ABS with this system yet?

Honestly, I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even think about the steppers. I just measured them (with a meat thermometer on the outer casing) after around 2 hours of printing and got the following:
X- axis: 71 deg C
Extruder: 67 deg C
Ambient: 27 deg C

From what I've seen online, people seem to recommend 80 deg C as an upper limit for the steppers. So it sounds like this should be ok?

I haven't printed ABS with this system... I'm not too keen on the fumes. But with the elevated bed/extruder temperatures for ABS... I'm wondering if I would need a stepper cooling system. Do you have experience with this?

To me you will definitly need to cool them down.
As you could see with PLA the stepper temperature is very close to Bed temperature.
Taking that into account closing the chamber for a bed @ 110°C will get the ambiant temperature close to the bed temperature.
If you keep the enclusure closed of if you don't cool down the electronic and stepper motor part you will have some troubles i guess.

In general it's often a nice idea to have those part as close to ambient temperature as possible.
If you keep your stepper hot, you will greatly reduce their lifespan as well as the electronic part.

If you use a ramps board you will notice, on the power supply connector, 1 is basically used to power up the heatbed and the other one the hot end.
In one hand you will power 40 to 90W max, in the other side you will power 200W.
On the heat bed power connector the connector's plastic will start to melt down after some time on some machine running in ambient temperature.
I believe that you might have this trouble faster if the ramps board is enclosed.

I really appreciate the info! It's funny that you mentioned the power connector melting, because that already happened! From a bit of research, I believe it happened because of a loose or limited connection due to soldering the stranded wire to make it more manageable. I haven't had any problems since: http://moczys.com/2015/01/03/melted-power-terminal/

Thankfully, however, I did think about the RAMPS board getting too hot and mounted it on the outside of the enclosure:

If you have any solutions for stepper cooling, I'd love to see them because I would eventually like to print in ABS. Thanks again!

Power and Controller mounting for Makerfarm Prusa i3
by moczys

That's nice!

About the stepper cooling i guess you can have different solutions.
For the Stepper at the bottom (Z axis) you might have some aluminum orcool ventilation shaft coming from the bottom.
For the other motors or hot end heatthink you might require to add external ventillation tubing taking fresh air from the outside f the box and creating airflow inside the tube up to the motor/hotend heatthink.
That's all i'm thinking about but i never tried to make one.

I saw a few times ago a guy printing a Kayak:
you can see his machine.
He mainly managed to have all hist motors outside of the box.
And for cooling his print he has a ventilation tube with air coming from outside.

Awesome... really appreciate the info and links. Cheers!