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Assistance with enclosure build materials and basic assumptions?

Posted by skeezixcodejedi 
Assistance with enclosure build materials and basic assumptions?
June 05, 2015 12:28PM
I've recently assembled a MakerFarm 10" i3v and am planning to build a simple enclosure pretty soon.

Thought 1: Order a sheet of 4.5mm plexiglass from a nearby plastics shop; they'll sell me the sheet, and pre-cut it into 24" squares, for about $130 CDN.

Thought 2: Pick up some plywood (or MDF?)

Usage pattern:
- mostly doing PLA printing so far; working great so far, for the items I'm printing. (3mm PLA)
- printing is bursty.. a few hours one day, and then a few days off, then print a few more hours; I tend to print only when around, as I'm sure its a fire hazard somehow winking smiley

- keep dust out
- keep noise down when I'm sitting beside it
- keeps kids probing hands out..
- better thermal control always good, especially if I switch to ABS in the future once I get more experience. (heat stays in, opening doors and letting cool winter air in won't immediately deform something, etc)

I'm not sure if plywood would shed dust over time on its own, but not too likely; could use some wood material and stain it, or get better materials.. I'm not overly handy with wood, so open to recommendation smiling smiley

Plexi seems a not bad option; there is readily available 'plexi glue' to bind sheets together, and of course could 3d print out some corners, and bold the corners onto the sheets (drill holes often turn sloppy looking in plexi, but woudl be covered by corner prints anyway.)
-- be nice to have a door on the front, so not sure how well you can band-saw a piece of plexi to cut into it, but that would be my goal

Plan: make a 5 sided cube (no floor) - this way the front door would be used for day to day fiddling, but if need to tighten up a bolt here or fiddle with something just lift off the entire enclosure.

- electronics maybe on the outside
- spool holder .. maybe just sit it on top of the plexi, or just behind the plexi, and have a hole where filament can feed in. (or a little rigid piping to guide filament in)

Since I'm not overly handy I wouldn't want to over-extend; just want something thats a weekend project to do the job, and hopefully it turns out nice.. but it doesn't have to be super fancy. This is in the basement in the man cave, so theres no factor requiring it to look good smiling smiley

Is a 5 sided cube a bad idea aside from looks?

Thought 3 (especially if wood construction with a plexi door say): angled front wouldn't be hard at all, even hinges on top for a swing-up door. But for plexi construction I rather figure a 24" cube more or less would fit over the unit pretty well and be trivial to build.

Please advise, and thank you for your help. I'm a total noob, but eternal hacker smiling smiley .. first rep-rap post, but often reader.


* Highly recommend MakerFarm as a place to start; Colin is an amazing resource, very helpful and responsive.
Re: Assistance with enclosure build materials and basic assumptions?
June 05, 2015 02:47PM
If optical transparency and aesthetics isn't a secondary goal, go down to your local home improvement store and pick up a piece of XPS foam board insulation. You're R-value will go up and your cost will go down. Even twinwall polycarbonate sheets would be cheaper and give you additional light transmittance through it. Twinwall usually gets used as greenhouse glazing instead of glass. Locally I can get a 4'x8' sheet 6mm thick for about $43 and it's not difficult to cut down to size.
Re: Assistance with enclosure build materials and basic assumptions?
June 05, 2015 05:00PM
Very interesting; I think using foam board would be annoying (it'd bleed off bitsd or dust or something I'm sure), but twinwall is something I've never considered. I'll hit up a HD and see what I can find.

Someone else just mentioned using corrugated plastic (sign material), which might be an idea; might not be rigid enough.. but might do the job, and is very inexpensive. (A local shop sells packs of 10 sheets, in a dozen colours, for $10-$15 CDN).

Thanks for the tip!

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