3D Printer Enclosure with proper vibration dampening
January 17, 2015 06:16PM

I have a Reprap Prusa i3 sending lots of vibrations down into my desk table, creating a lot of resonance noise.
Lifting the printer almost makes the thing almost entirely quiet, with the most annoying low-mid frequencies gone.

I've been thinking of building a proper enclosure for my printer, mostly for a heated chamber for ABS, but I thought, why not just try to eliminate most of the vibrations as well.
I have a small budget(30-80€), and I live in Sweden, so some things might be harder to get here that in the US for example.
I might consider increasing the budget if the increased noise cancellation is worth it.
So, I started to make a default looking enclosure:

So I started to read on how people have enclosed other stuff, such as guitar speaker cabinets and floating floors in audio production studios.
Now, obviously, my project's size is not even close to compare to the floating studio floor, but I thought that the same principle should apply.

So here is what I'm thinking:

Sorry for the crudely made paint picture, I felt inspired. winking smiley
I hope you can understand my thinking in the picture above. The 3D printer stands on top of a MDF plate, that stands on top of mineral wool insulation that hopefully will absorb vibrations.
The mineral wool is covered in the bottom of the enclosure.

Now, for my questions..
Is this a really bad idea?
Will just a plate, not fixed to the enclosure, provide enough stability to the 3D printer while providing good vibration absorption?
Also, the thickness of the insulation, I can get hands on many different kinds, but 45mm and 70mm seems to be the best options to go.
I've read somewhere that neoprene is used a lot in vibration reduction, however, I have no knowledge of what this actually is or where I could get it.
Any ideas or suggestions on how to do this the best way?
I even thought of having the plate hanging from loose springs, but the X- and Y-axis will probably set the entire thing in motion.

Note: I plan on adding extra features later, like ventilation for temperature control, PLA, and Electronics wiring. But I really want to focus on the important fundamentals first. :-)

Greatly appreciate all the help I could get!
Best regards,
Re: 3D Printer Enclosure with proper vibration dampening
January 17, 2015 08:44PM
Sorbothane would be a better choice for vibration dampening. It comes in various formulations, so you need to match it to the weight of your enclosure and machine.
Re: 3D Printer Enclosure with proper vibration dampening
January 18, 2015 08:01AM
Hi Etfrench!

Thanks for your answer!

Seems like sorbothane is not the easiest thing to get hold of in Sweden, or in Europe for that matter, though small sorbothane feet shouldn't be a problem.
Do you think one sorbothane in each corner of the 3D printer plate, and one in each corner of the enclosure would be enough to get rid of vibrations?

Also, if I build this enclosure, do you think I would just switch the resonance source from the table to the enclosure?
I just get the feeling that a big MDF enclosure would build up a lot of resonance from the 3D printer.

Thank you!
Re: 3D Printer Enclosure with proper vibration dampening
January 18, 2015 12:45PM
Before going for the more expensive insulation try a few lower cost items.
A grip/foam mat used as a shelf liner and see if that is sufficient for your needs. A floor fatigue mat. Rubber feet for the bottom of the MDF board. Even a piece of carpet would isolate the vibrations from the shell.

McMaster.com sells all sorts of rubber, neoprene, foam, etc. While getting it shipped to Sweden would be expensive, they have good descriptions on the materials and can give you an idea of what to look for locally.

I don't suppose you're printing with a flexible filament. You could print little 'boots' for the feet of your printer.
Re: 3D Printer Enclosure with proper vibration dampening
January 18, 2015 01:34PM
before you build your en-closer go buy a rubber backed mat you know the kind you can use on a wooden floor and not slip up and put that on your desk and the printer on top it will be none slip the rubber will help kill vibrations and you can have a nice wool 1 if you think wool will help as well
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