Custom TAZ enclosure

Almost done.



Still need to suspend filament over printer, not sure if I should attach filament spool to printer or ceiling of enclosure. Probably ceiling in case I do double extrusion.
Still need to cut Plexiglas front and determine how it will be attached, I’m thinking clips on the side and top. It is hard to see but there is a lip that it sits on, so the weight will be supported. Clips should make it easy to remove and attach.
Still need to cut shelves for bottom compartment. This will be storage for filament and all other things printer related.
Still need to figure out venting system. Thinking a duct out the same side the power line and usb chord go it, but up at the top obviously.
Still need to figure out lighting, do I want and need it?

Reasons I went with the setup I did:
Small footprint.
Movable (throughout garage).
Didn’t have to detach electronics and mount outside the case.
Extra storage.
Really only need to look in from front, hence plywood structure (inexpensive) and Plexiglas front (expensive).
Weight of either plywood or Plexiglas enclosure would be to much to pick up, hence mobile base.
Only 8 plywood panels (2’ x 4’) needed to build entire case which can be cut from two (4’ x 8’) panels or can be bought precut in the (2’ x 4’) dimension.

Downsides:
What if the next taz is bigger and won’t fit in the box. Well, the top enclosure is attached to the pedestal that sits in the mobile base. Or in other words, the storage compartment is a separate structure from the top. So I would only have to rebuild the top structure. Also, I decided to only screw the whole thing together and not glue and screw. This allows me to take it apart and make changes, or repurpose the wood if I have to build a new larger top structure. I’m also consciously only drilling holes and openings into the electronics side of the structure, remember the venting will come out that side also. That way if something changes about the printer but it still fits in the enclosure, I only have to unscrew that one panel and cut a new one to close off or redesign all holes entering the enclosure.

But like I said, almost done. I lose points for the mistake on the side picture. I drilled the notch for the usb chord but didn’t realize this is the same height the power cord enters the electronics enclosure. I’m looking forward to stopping some of the delaminating that has been occurring when printing in my cold shop, and I am getting the space on my workbench back for other work. I’ll post the finished project as soon as I finish and am happy to send my CAD files to anyone that wants them, PM me. I mocked the whole thing up in CAD to make sure it would work before buying the materials.

Cheers

It’s looking good rvs!

I highly recommend LED light strips to light it up if you think you need light. The enclosure I have has small glass windows on both sides as well as a glass door on the front and it’s still quite dark in there. If you plan to monitor your printer with a webcam (I’m using a Raspberry Pi + OctoPrint + Webcam with mine), you’ll definitely need some extra light.

Your setup is looking great though. I really like the idea of storage below the printer. I like the fact that it’s rollable as well, but I’m curious if it’ll try to wiggle around while printing…my TAZ can get some pretty good vibrations going depending on the part being printed.

  • Adam

Egg on my face. So I fired up the TAZ tonight in the the new enclosure, homed the X axis, wonderful, homed the Y axis, here comes the egg. I didn’t account for the fact that the heated bed actually extends beyond the most rear vertical face of the Y motor mount. Got my hand to the off button as fast as I could after the noise of the stepper motor yelled that it was trying to push the printer bed through the back of my enclosure but couldn’t. So trying to design this enclosure to use a standard precut panel of 2’ x 4’ might not work out. I’m guessing I could (through firmware?) reduce the printing area of the TAZ so it does not extend the bed out to these extreme distances. Decision to be made later.

Pulled the printer forward the few millimeters it needed to home the Y axis, and finished homing it. Electronics case does not line up with my cut out anymore. Deal with that later. Tonight I printed out the hooks to hold the filament roll to the side of the enclosure. Works great having the roll up there, no problem feeding the printer. The hooks allow me to easily lift and remove the filament roll if I need to take the printer out of the enclosure. I designed the hooks to use the same 1" wood screw I used to build the entire enclosure. Before someone else points it out, I will do the honor, yes, this is not the type of screw I should be using because it is a wood screw with a countersink head type, I should be using a pan head type, preferably with a washer, that way I am clamping down on the layers and not using a screw that acts more like a wedge that can pry the layers apart if tightened to much. I printed a relief in the hook to accommodate the countersink on the screw head and made sure not to tighten it too much. I’ll admit I was too lazy to go buy the correct screws right now since the hooks were just prototypes to see if they work well, which it turns out they do, and they easily hold the weight of the 5 pound coils. I promise pan head screws with washers on the final design.



Question: What is the point of the filament feed tube if I am feeding filament into my printer in this manner? Do I really need it? Printed the hooks without it. Just wondering if someone could clarify.

These parts printed in the enclosure printed much better than my previous part not printed in an enclosure, so I highly recommend enclosures. Hopefully you will have better luck getting yours right the first time and can learn from my mistake :smiley:

The filliament feed tube is designed to constrain the filliament so it meets the extruder at the correct orientation to pass through the hobbed bolt / idler assembly and that any bends are supported at a radius that is less likely to result in a filliament crack. Feeding from the top down like that you should be ok, though I would personally probably put something like the AO-101 style filliament guide (but pointed inside the frame if there is room)) on the top frame to keep the filliament entering the machine from a fixed point. REalistically though it would probably only be of use in preventing really wierd tangle situations.

These are all really cool. I had a few questions

  1. If the box is sealed up on all sides, do you need ventilation ? Or is the idea to trap the heat entirely

  2. Earlier some suggested the inclusion of a heat lamp. Is that really necessary ? My thought is that with an enclosure and trapping the heat this would be sufficient

  3. It was mentioned that someone bought a case from benfarmer are there more for sale or anyone know somewhere selling them? Worst case I will just build one out of acrylic panels

@cityguru

For the enclosure I have, it’s practically sealed all the way around. There are two little side windows with magnetic locks, so you can open them up if you want to use PLA and keep things cooler or keep them locked shut for ABS to retain the heat. No ventilation other than a cutout on the side so the cooling fan on the electronics enclosure can get some air.

Even with my enclosure sealed up pretty nicely, I still get cracks in tall thin ABS prints. I haven’t tried a heat lamp to see if that helps. Most prints are much improved since there aren’t any drafts and the ambient temperature is warm, but not hot. So even without the heat lamp, the enclosure helps, but I do still get cracked ABS parts when I print certain shapes.

On your question #3 - no, Ben doesn’t have any more for sale. This was just a one off one. He was getting a friend with a wood shop to build him a better version, so I just bought his old one. I don’t think he (or the guy that built it) have any plans to actually sell any others. (It’s really heavy & physically huge, so I can imagine shipping would be crazy expensive.)

  • Adam

Can it stay enclosed for PLA or does the trapped heat make PLA printing worse? I see for ABS this is good but what about PLA?

My TAZ would jam pretty bad printing PLA without a fan on the extruder, so I assumed I should probably leave the area open to keep the temps down. I don’t know that I actually tried printing with it closed up while using PLA though. Next time I switch back to PLA, I’ll give it a try and let you know. New crazy expensive MakerBot uses a heated build chamber with PLA and said it was to help with dimensional accuracy, so maybe keeping the enclosure heated would actually be a good thing.

  • Adam

hey thats the part thats been confusing me as well

With PLA on one hand we are recommended to get a fan (which really i dont understand why Lulzbot doesnt just include on the Taz3 if PLA is the biggest filament push). So ultimately one would think you want to cool things down.

But then you have the closed chambers on things like the Makerbot all with the intent to have PLA prints come out better. Fyi, according to Makerbot their extruder comes out at 230 degrees, which is way above what Taz says to use. They do have a fan though on the makerbot.

The best prints I have ever had with PLA occured in cool environments and with active cooling. PLA absorbs heat really really well, so any kind of cooling will typically lead to clean, crisp prints.

So Orias, I am guessing this means for PLA you would not recommend an enclosure?

Also regarding active cooling what do you mean? Do you mean the addition of an Extruder fan? And Btw if this is to provide better prints why not simply have the Taz come with it? Or at least to sell it on your store as an Add-on.

Fans that help PLA often cause problems for printing ABS. Active cooling can be a fan, circulated liquid (water cooling) directed coolant gas or liquid (CO2 spray, mist coolant, not a popular choice around heated beds). The Buddaschnozzle itself has enough passive cooling built into the vanes that in many cases it doesn’t require active cooling. Fans add noise as well. I can see many people wanting one, I can see quite a few being annoyed by what they would consider to be unneccessary noise and weight on the print head. It’s kind of a toss up and in some cases adding it would detract from print speed. I have a few 12 volt computer water cooling pumps that are a bit too small for a modern socket 2011 processor, but i was considering putting together a buddaschnozzle water jacket. Thats alot of mass to add to a print head though just from the metal and the water weight of the water block.

Well said. We do have an optional fan add-on available here: https://www.lulzbot.com/products/taz-extruder-fan-add-on-kit

While cooling isn’t necessary when printing, for overhangs, thin walls (PLA), small objects, and bridging a fan will help.

What are the specs for this enclosure?

Finally got an enclosure together for my TAZ, and it makes a huge difference in print quality! Much less frustrated with my print results now.
I built the enclosure out of 1/4" plexiglas and made all the brackets in tinkercad then printed on the TAZ. I put the files for all the parts I used here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:675652.

Quick question for you guys… I’m from Brazil, just moved to USA so just trying to learn my way around here…

Where is the best place to buy plexiglass to build an enclosure like this? Do you guys cut the sheets yourselves (for the door) of just buy everything cut?

I liked the @MMcGuire enclosure, but I would try to build the entire front as a “door” instead of a small cut area.

Vitor Henrique

I cut all the pieces myself. It was all cut from a 4’ x 8’ sheet on a table saw. I got the Plexiglas from some wood/construction supply company. Don’t remember exactly who we ordered from. I am in a school so have the space to cut such a large sheet. I made the door smaller because of the location on my desk, I would not have the space to have the whole front open up as a door.

That is a nice enclosure! I built one for my Taz 4 and it has been great in keeping dust out and heat in.

It seems as if the filament will get smashed on the lid on tall prints. It seems too low to keep the spool inside the case. Is this just me?

What is your experience?

I was told not to keep the electronics inside the enclosure. Do you outside air coming inside the enclose for cooling down the Rambo card