One shortcoming of the Taz line of 3D printers is the lack of an enclosure. An enclosure provides temperature regulation so that longer/larger prints with ABS or HIPS will keep the layers from separating during the print.
I designed this enclosure to allow easy access to the printer through the front. I wanted it light enough that if needed I could remove it quickly. I didn't want to enclose the brain box inside the chamber as it should stay cool and have its fan blowing on the outside. And I wanted something that wasn't going to cost several hundred dollars.
This enclosure is made of a dense foam board found at your local home renovation store, some metalized tape to hold it together, a few printed parts, and one sheet of acrylic to act as the door so you can see through to monitor your print.
Total cost is around $50.00; and your time to build it.
I have now posted two filter designs, a Enclosure Fume Filter (thing:929473) and 3D Printer Filter (thing:2073142) that both work with this design; I recommend the latter as it uses an off the shelf car filter that has worked better for me.
If you find my designs useful, please help by donating.
- (4' x 8' sheet) Rigid Foam Insulation Board
- (2 rolls) Foil Tape
- (2 rolls) Weather stripping Foam Tape
- Acryclic sheet, 3.8" thick, cut to design in PDF
- TNuts and bolts to mount the printed parts to the Taz frame (same ones used for the spool mount). See bottom for option to minimize the need to purchase extra parts.
- Heat insert spacers (same ones used for the spool mount), these are optional but provide strength to the mounting arms. Without them, the mounting arms will need to be modified to have smaller holes. I found some aluminum spacers at local hardware store that worked fine.
- 3D printed parts printed from the enclosed files
- sharp utility knife to cut the foam
- long straight edge to guide the utility knife (metal)
Step 1: Print the parts
Download and print the parts. The filament port is optional and only needed if you want the spool outside the enclosure.
(2) EnclsoureMountVertical - these will attach to the top of the Taz
(2) EnclosureMountHorizontalRight - these will attach to the sides of the Taz
(2) EnclosureMountHorizontalLeft - these will attach to the sides of the Taz
(4) EnclosureMountClip - these will clip on the outside of the horizontal mounts to hold sides tight.
(2) EnclosureFilamentPortal - this optional port guides the filament into and up to the feed tube (rotate the inner one 180 degrees to the outer one)
(1) EnclosureLowerDoorClip - this includes both the left and right trays that hold the door
(2) EnclosureUpperDoorGuide - these will guide the door to a square fit on the front.
Heat insert the washers into the mounting arm holes. This is as easy as putting the part on a flat surface so the hole is over a hole in the surface. Then using a soldering iron, heat and press the spacer into the hole on the printed part. Stop when it is flush.
Step 2: Cut the foam board
Use the included design PDF to cut the foam board.
Note that all the pieces have at least one dimension no larger than 24". This allows for the 4'x8' sheet to but cut in half to two 2'x8' for easier transportation from the store.
The best way to cut it is to place the board on a clean floor, use a metal straight edge that is long enough for a single cut, and pull the knife along the straight edge in one deep slow cut. The foam cuts easy and doing multiple passes will create a rough edge.
Step 3: Form the box
Start with the back and side, using the metalized tape, secure them along the back vertical edge so that the back is inside the side piece. Tape only the outside for now.
Then secure the other side to the back. At this point they still wiggle and as long as the edges were taped straight, they will square up well.
Now secure the top over the sides and back. Make sure to test for square before taping.
Finally tape the inside edges which will add strength to the frame and stop air leaks.
Finish up by putting tape over all exposed edges. This is important as the weather stripping will not adhere to the foam edge.
Step 4 - weather stripping and filament portal
Put foam weather stripping tape across the bottom and front edges. Make sure to include the gaps for the power pass through on the back and larger one for the brain box.
If you are attaching the filament portal, cut a hole for it and glue it in. The location is flexible, based on your filament reel mounts. My real is vertical so I placed it at 3" from the bottom.
Remember, the outside portal should have its hole pointed downward, the inside portal should have its hole pointed upward.
Step 5 - Door mounts
Attach the front lower door clips using glue. Place them so foam extends lightly into the channel so when compressed the door will lie against the clip.
Attach the upper clips also with glue. These are mere guides for the door and should only extend out from the foam weather stripping about 1/2". Anymore and tilting the door will bind with lower clips.
Step 6 - Mount the printed parts to the Taz.
This will require some disassembly to get the new TNuts into the rails.
The vertical mounts attach to the outside of the upper rails, centered.
The horizontal mounts attach to the outside of the side rails, about 10" up. Don't tighten them up yet, just snug enough so they don't move around a lot.
Step 7 - Mount the box
Tilting the horizontal mounts upward, slide the box onto the Taz from the top. Align the mount holes and let the mounts tilt into position as the box lays onto the table top.
Adjust the mount heights as needed and tighten down.
Attach the clips to the outside. (metalized tape on the holes helps here)
Step 8 - The door
I glued an acrylic handle to the door using acrylic cement, centered near the top. Then just slide the door down into the lower clips, and lean it back against the face, making sure it fits inside the upper clips.
The Scavenge Option
While not all the arms are required, they are helpful to keep it aligned. The box is very light but rigid and will shift when the door is opened.
You can "scavenge" the parts already present to be able to mount three arms; which should be enough to keep it secured.
If you remove the nameplate, this will provide two t-nuts/bolt/washer sets. Then remove the spool holder, this will provide one t-nut/bolt/washer set. You now have enough hardware to build three arms.
I would suggest then putting the back side arms and a front top arm in. Of course, then you will not need to cut the extra holes for the arms you don't mount.