I Built A Home For My TAZ 4: The CATGUARD

Lulzbot has plans for an enclosure for the TAZ, they call it the CATGUARD:


and here’s the BOM (v1.1 is the most recent and correct one):


You will need to have the acrylic plates cut with notches according to the cat_guard_plates.pdf document. The front door does not get any notches.

I wanted to help eliminate ABS warping and at the same time protect my TAZ from knocks / spills etc since it’s in my office so I went ahead and forked out the dough to build a home for my TAZ 4. The build was pretty easy except there are a couple of steps in the instructions that need to be corrected. I emailed tech service and when the corrections are made I’ll post notification here. Other than that the build went off without a hitch. The BOM is correct and both Misumi and Port Plastics delivered the goods right on (of course they get paid pretty well to do it right).

Overall I’m super satisfied w/ the results and glad I did it. Now i just wish Lulzbot would get the dual extruder to market. Printing w/ ABS I have some serious 90 degree overhangs that defeat any and all attempts at a successful print using supports so I need to print these parts w/ support material if I want to have a fighting chance at printing them correctly.

Doesn’t the fan on the controller create a draft, sort of defeating the purpose?

I’m thinking of making one of these for ABS printing, but it seems that the controller needs to either be mounted on the outside, or pressed up against the side, with air holes drilled in the acrylic to let the air out.

Your enclosure looks really nice.


Very nice enclosure - I plan to do something similar for our Taz.

Very nice! By any chance are you selling the kit for those who don’t want to order from multiple sites or don’t have time like me. I’ll try to build by the end of this year one once my son’s soccer season is done.

Looks great inventabuild!

Would you mind commenting on how long the build took and how much materials cost?

I would’t worry too much about it, as the temperature will normalize as the printer heats up and runs.

Will the catguard fit a dual extrusion with the second spool attached?

As long as it’s on the right hand side of the printer it will still fit.

Oh… so you can mount both spools on the same side?


Nice enclosure! I built a “similar” one, except that my beams are pressure-treated 2x2 lumber, and my plexiglass is thick vinyl sheeting like Granny covered her furniture in. Okay, so not much like, really. The one thing I’ve found, and you might want to watch for WRT the enclosure is thermal run-away at the stepper-motor drivers heatsink. At times when I allowed the inside temp reach to the mid- or upper-40C’s, the Z-axis drivers seemed to stop sending pulses, as if the driver chip hit a thermal overload. Hopefully your unit won’t have that problem.

But, I do worry about the electronics. Electrolytic capacitors do NOT like operating at elevated temperatures for extended periods. So for my enclosure (yeah, pix eventually :wink: ) I cut a hole in the left side and printed a coaxial (concentric) air intake (inner tube) and exhaust (outer sheath) that fit over that side of the box. Includes gaskets to reduce air leaking.

So far so good. Inside temps I try and keep in the high 30’s, but the electronics stays a nice 25-29C. It seems (thermally) isolating the two circuits (the build enclosure from the electronics enclosure) really helps. Next step is to figure out if I can isolate that heatsink from the case so it’s not trying to dump heat into that already-hot box. Rather, it would be better to blow the colder outside room air over the heatsink. Oh well, not today…



Mind posting some images?


I am expecting that I’ll eventually post the plans up on the 'verse, but don’t have that information yet.

At the link below is a small but information-dense PDF with way more information than you want. Trust me on that one :smiley:. My goal with the information is to describe and depict the particulars, goals, constraints and criteria that went into it, so you can pick and choose among the parts or ideas that meet your needs.


Please let me know if you have any problems with the PDF file, or if you have questions, comments, or invective. Apparently I don’t come here every day, so thom at tctrandolph dot com will get to me also.



Very cool! Thanks for all the information!

Glad to see the CATGaurd is working out for people outside my ridiculous place of work. If you run into heat creep issues with PLA the Dual Duct fan shroud fixes them right up. Overall the guard makes printing ABS and HIPS a snap with no warp.


I am creating a Cat Guard for our Taz in my office. I was looking at the acrylic plates pdf and noticed the dimensions for the corners list two dimensions by each dim-- 6.0 and then 7.0 right below it. 12.0 and 11.0 right below. What does this mean? Between 6 and 7 mm?

I told Port Plastics I needed the following acrylic sheets with 6x11mm notches and attached the pdf (cat_guard_plates.PDF) provided by Lulzbot on their website:

PP-FP0057 Acrylic Sheet, 6mm (.236") Thick, 765mm (30.12") x 530mm (20.87") Port Plastics 1 ea
PP-FP0047 Acrylic Sheet, 6mm (.236") Thick, 590mm (23.23") x 685mm (26.97") Port Plastics 2 ea
PP-FP0048 Acrylic Sheet, 6mm (.236") Thick, 810mm (31.89") x 685mm (26.97") Port Plastics 1 ea
PP-FP0049 Acrylic Sheet, 6mm (.236") Thick, 810mm (31.89") x 590mm (23.23") Port Plastics 1 ea

They seemed to know what to do w/ it. I could only guess that the 6.0 / 7.0 is a tolerance on the notches.

Perhaps someone w/ more experience w/ drawing specs could chime in.

Those are maximum and minimum dimensions for the feature.

Thanks! I’ll tell my fabricator they are tolerances.

what is the estimated total price?