Enclosure Design - $300 - Looking for Feedback/Ideas

Hey Everybody. So I’ve been wanting an enclosure for a while, but have been putting it off for different reasons. Primary reason was that I didn’t want to pay for it. However I’ve decided to go for it and have put together a preliminary design that I’m hoping you can help me review. A few notes:

  1. I plan to duct the enclosure box or mount it flush to the side panel, but haven’t yet decided which route to take.
  2. Filament will be mounted inside the enclosure, between the top rails. I made this mount (total overkill) which I’m very happy with, but am going to make a new one that mounts the same way but moves the spool about 4 inches lower. I have not needed the full build height yet. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:725128
  3. I need to add holes in the back for cables. I’m deciding what the best way to do this is.
  4. I need to add cam latches to keep the door closed, but I’ll design and print these myself.
  5. I’m thinking I’ll probably use a 3/4" strip of adhesive backed felt to make the door close quietly and create a nice seal.
  6. I’ve had LED strips for about 8 months to add lighting, but haven’t gotten around to installing it yet.
  7. Enclosure is primarily for noise and to protect from drafts. I live in an old, small, drafty apartment, and my printer lives in the living room. Fortunately heat is free and abundantly available.

Price breakdown:
30mm square aluminum extrusion: $93
3pc 1/4" baltic birch plywood, 30"x60": $60
Cost to laser cut plywood: quote in progress, but I can buy a 5 visit pass at the local maker space for $85 and do it myself.
1pc acrylic door: $49 for material and laser cutting. Maybe less if I buy material and do it myself again.
Misc. hardware $30

All in it should be no more than $320

All constructive feedback is appreciated.


Don’t mount the fillament inside the enclosure. If it’s PLA it will get brittle with repeated heating and cooling cycles, if it’s abs, it may distort over time.

Magnetic door latches also work well for something like that.

I’d skip the alum extrusion and print some connectors or even dovetail the birch. That would save $93 right off the bar. Also consider lighting, looks awful dark in there. Maybe some led’s mounted on the top front cross member or sides? Lastly, consider Making it easily removable by lifting off the taz and not having cords and such pass through cutouts, it sucks to have to partially disassemble the machine to just take the cover off. MAybe get a big cardboard box and cut it out, use it for a bit to see if you really like it? I have only encountered, maybe 2 prints where I NEEDED an enclosure, but i just threw a blanket over the TAZ.

Having said that, I will offer to laser cut (if the total dimension is less that 500x700) or cnc route the birch for you if you would like. Just buy materials and pay shipping.

That’s a good point, and I will definitely keep it in mind. PLA certainly does get brittle, but I didn’t think cycling from 70F-100F heat cycle (I wouldn’t expect this box to get much warmer than that) would be enough to do it since the glass transition is closer to 140F. Magnetic door latches would be a nice addition.

I considered skipping the aluminum. I like how clean it would look without, but I would miss having something to grab onto to lift it or bolt attachments to.
Lights are a good note - I actually bought a strip of LED’s early this year and never got around to installing them. I’ll definitely add those once I have the enclosure. Just added this to original post.
Being able to just lift it off is also a great point. I’ll probably end up having a base that the printer sits on, and then have a 5 sided box that just drops over it. I can cut a rectangle out of the bottom edge of the back and print a piece that fits in it with slots sized for the cables, so that it can be updated easily, kind of like the back of a PC case and that motherboard adapter plate that snaps in. I’ll update that this weekend and put an update.
The enclosure is primarily for noise, because the printer is in my living room, but it also has to look decent. My wife does not appreciate the blanket covered TAZ “ghost” look.

I really appreciate the offer to laser or route the parts. Unfortunately they all exceed that 500mm dimension. Where are you located?

Charleston, WV

The router is 4’x4’ so it can handle it just fine.