3D Printer Enclosure: Is It Necessary to A 3D Printer

3D printers are becoming more and more useful in many people’s daily life. Regardless of those high-quality and expensive industrial 3D printers, plenty of low-cost DIY printers become important members in an individual’s house. As an undeveloped and highly modifiable product, 3D printers also need lots of accessories to update themselves. In this post, we will introduce one common 3D printer tool—— 3D printer enclosure.


The Purpose of 3D Printer Enclosures

Most DIY 3D printers equip with simple frames and mechanisms to ensure their functionalities while keeping the price affordable. With many users getting familiar with their machines, some modifications or updates are necessary to achieve customized purposes.

3D printer enclosure is one opinion of 3D printer updates. A 3D printer enclosure is made for those open-framed FDM printers that expose their motion and heating parts to the air. Like a storage box, a 3D printer can be placed into an enclosure.

There are many reasons for using an enclosure. One reason to have an enclosure is to keep the printer from dust and water splash. Some enclosures also have fireproof features to isolate accidental burning from electrical parts. From the aspect of functionalities, using an enclosure will keep the internal temperature more stable, as FDM technology needs a relatively warm environment for its printing process. A constant warm temperature can reduce the warping of high-temperature materials printing, such as ABS and PETG. It also adds a barrier to your printer, reduces noise, and keeps your kids and pets away from the dangerous components like the hotend and moving parts.

Whoever owns a 3D printer is probably able to build an enclosure, since handcraft skills are the one we must have when we decided to get an FMD printer. Well, if we compare the money and time consumption, buying a cheap pre-made enclosure sounds like a good solution, instead of buying materials and building your own.

The Materials of 3D Printer Enclosures

Material property is important for a 3D printer enclosure. Manufacturers apply different materials to products to give them special features. For example, fireproof material is used to insulate accidental fires and protect houses and humans safely; thermal insulation material is used to keep printers running in a constant warm environment. We need to look for the right material for our demands.

Aluminum Film and Fabric Composite

Aluminum has a great heat isolation property. So it is an ideal fireproof material. But aluminum itself is stiff and fissile. The added fabric can increase the whole material’s durability.

Thick EVA and Fabric Composite

EVA is a widely used foam material that has good properties of thermal and sound insulation. EVA is thick and soft, so adding fabric can increase its durability.

Fireproof Silicone coated Fiber

Silicone-coated fiber is a new type of fireproof material that can isolate smoke and fire effectively.

Metal and Acrylic

Metal frame and flat acrylic provide a solid structure and elegant outlook. On the other side, it is a bit cumbersome, and the gaps all around the joints have a disadvantage for keeping heat inside.

Featured 3D Printer Enclosures

When you realize your need an enclosure for your 3D printer, here is some advice that may help you.

DIY your own.

If you are into handcraft and really want to build everything by yourself, DIY would be a good choice. But it would not be able to save your burger and time.

Buy Finished Products

It is surprising that you can find so many products related to 3D printer enclosures online. Most of them are look similar— box-shape, black color, and window at the front. etc. Many users would pick the one with good reviews and a reasonable price. But there are some important factors we may pay attention to when we choose an enclosure.

Safty

Safety always comes first when we use any electronic device. FDM 3D printer is popular due to its practicality and low price. But simple and crude circuitry systems and exposed cables may become a fire hazard. If the 3D printer is located at your home, like a bedroom or closet, choosing a fireproof enclosure is very necessary.

Also, If you plan to print high-temperature material like ABS, for example, you might need a well-shield enclosure to prevent the toxic gas from leaking, at least, not everywhere in the room.

Accessibility

Adding a cover to a 3D printer sure make it more complete, but the enclosure may be in the way when you want to inspect certain areas of the printer or change some parts. Check how an enclosure is designed(e.g., how to open the enclosure or how many holes the enclosure has) will help you find the proper one for your own printer.

Size

Size is the most basic element of an enclosure, but it is very easy to go wrong. Like people buying clothes, you may need to try a couple of times to get the right size. there are so many types of 3D printers with different sizes and shapes. Check the printer’s true size and reading the product’s description carefully will reduce the chance of returning.

Userbility

Where there is a need, there is a product. If your printer stays in a cold place, like a basement, you may consider a warm cover to reduce heat loss; If you have kids or pets at home, you might prefer a well-designed enclosure to your printer.

Price

With more 3D printer enclosures coming into the market, the price competition is increasingly fierce. We all want to find a good product at a good price. I’ve listed a few featured 3D printer enclosures that have their own specialties. Hope you can find the right one for 2021 Xmas.


Size(Inch):Small:18.9*23.6*28.4
Large: 27.6*29.5*35.4
Material: Aluminum Film
Price: From$79.99 to 104.99
More Details at Creality3D® Official Store

Creality 3D Printer Tent

Creality 3D Printer Tent is one of Creality 3D’s accessories that fits certain Creality FDM printers like Ender and CR series. There are many similar products like this one, which uses aluminum foil and black fabric for the main body.


Pros:
Great isolation. The aluminum foil is able to insulate smoke and flame effects. And the mirror-like surface can reflect some heat to keep inside warm.
Good Compatibility. There are two sizes to suit different Creality printers (from ender 3 to CR10 Max). Most FMD printer users would be able to put their machines into the tent with the right size.
Cons:
Not real fireproof. Though aluminum can stand fire, the outside fabric will get burned at a high temperature.
Rough manufacture. The overall surface has many wrinkles that make the tent look cheap and unshaped.


Size(Inch):19.7*21.2*20.4
Material:Stainless Steel +EVA fabric.
Price:$45.99
More Details at Amazon Store

EVA Super Warm Enclosure

EVA Super Warm Enclosure is a newly released product by 3D Master. This enclosure is designed to keep the inside printer at a high-temperature status. In this way, the 3D printer will have better performance in printing high-temperature material, like ABS. Also, it will be helpful for users who use 3Dprinter in a cold environment.


Pros:
Thick Fabric. This Enclosure is made of thick EVA foam and oxford fabric, which keeps the interior temperature at a super warm status, especially in cold areas.
LED light. Pure white EVA lining and 6000K daylight LED bar provides a clear bright environment.
Cons:
Small size. This enclosure is relatively smaller than others, as it was initially made for small printers like ender 3 and similar models.
This enclosure sacrifices its size for better heat preservation. To use this enclosure, the original filament holder may need to be moved to the outside of the enclosure.


Size(Inch):25*21*29.5
Material:Silicon Fiber Fabrics+ Stainless Steel
Price:
Price:
$57.99
More Details at Amazon Store

Fireproof Enclosure

This enclosure uses fireproof fabrics that resist 600-800°C high temperatures to isolate the accidental fire. Multiple coating processes and silicon fiber fabrics keep the interior temperature at a warm status.

Pros:
1. This enclosure uses fireproof fabrics that resist 600-800°C high temperatures to isolate the accidental fire. Multiple coating processes and silicon fiber fabrics keep the interior temperature at a warm status.
2. Large space. This enclosure is larger than Crealiy’s small size tent, which provides more room for users to upload filament or check their printer.
Cons:
For Cr-10 or different types of large printers, some modifications are needed to fit this enclosure. E.g., the external control box needs to be outside of the cover or re-wiring some cables.


Size(Inch):N/A
Material:Acrylic
Price:From $62.99 to $329.99

Acrylic Sheet Board

Acrylic sheet board is more like an add-on item for things like cabinets or tables. According to particular circumstances, users mount acrylic sheets around the 3D printer and build an enclosure.

Pros:
1. This enclosure uses fireproof fabrics that resist 600-800°C high temperatures to isolate the accidental fire. Multiple coating processes and silicon fiber fabrics keep the interior temperature at a warm status.
2. Large space. This enclosure is larger than Crealiy’s small size tent, which provides more room for users to upload filament or check their printer.
Cons:
For Cr-10 or different types of large printers, some modifications are needed to fit this enclosure. E.g., the external control box needs to be outside of the cover or re-wiring some cables.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say that a 3D printer enclosure is a must-have item for FDM 3D printers. Many users just want to try new things like a 3D printer and they probably don’t want to dig in too much on its accessories. For other users who may have certain needs (E.g. Maintaining printers in a good shape, keeping kids away, or going to print ABS), an enclosure is a good option for an FDM printer.

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