Physical Security Question

I am a professor at a small, liberal arts university. We just got our Lulzbot TAZ 6. We are keeping the printer in a small computer lab that has keycard access and is restricted to our physics, engineering, computer science, and math majors. I am not afraid of someone walking away with the machine. I am concerned about:

  • Someone printing something inappropriate over the weekend

  • Someone who doesn’t know how to use the printer trying to print something and causing a problem

I’m trying to figure out the best way to limit people’s ability to use the machine. Putting it in another room is not an option. Removing the power cord or USB cable or something like that doesn’t seem like it would work; those are standard parts and there are spares around the room.

Does anybody have thoughts?

There isn’t an easy way. You could build a locking enclosure cabinet which will also improve abs printing and control access to the keys (remember to properly vent the control box so you don’t melt it) . Alternatively you could open the case and wire in an electrical interlock key that would prevent operation without the key. That would void your warranty.

You could also just install a security camera like an arlo cam set to mail you video snapshots of anyone entering the room on the weekend.

A lockable enclosure seems the easiest route.

A few other options:

  • Fabricate a securable panel to cover the USB port and power switch
  • Remove the toolhead - be careful not to damage the connector pins and switch to a M3 thumb screws
  • Network controllable power plug (Home Automation)
  • Secure the gantry to the base of the printer. (Hiplok )