Print farm construction

Does anyone have any information about the materials and design of the print farm:

For example the doors, what are they made of?

The wood, what is it and does it have any fire resistant properties?

Are there any other features not seen in the photo? Cabling? Sensors? Ventilation?

I’m interested in making a few spaces like this in our Fablab. Probably give more consistent results as well as being safer too.

Well the couple times I have been in the room during visits I have not smelled the vapors of all the ABS they are printing so I know it is ventilated really well. Beyond that nothing but the shelves look to be MDF and I think the doors are just Plexiglass.

Plexiglas? Isn’t that the stuff you cut with a laser cutter that melts then burns really easily?

Might it be Polycarbonate?

Currently within the cluster:

The cabinet doors are Acrylic sheets that are cut to size and then we drilled holes into them for the hinges, magnet mounts, etc.

The wood for the shelving is 1/4" thick particle board that is not treated/coated in any way. In the 3 years I have been working in the cluster, we have had zero issues with any kind of fire hazard.

Wiring and cables: We have one 12 outlet power strip per cabinet (running 11 machine) that we use for the power supplies of our Beagle Bone boards. The power and usb cables for the machines are bundled together, tied to the metal framing of the cabinets, and fed through a small gap between the center of two cabinets (back to back). Those plug directly into more power strips and network hubs that are mounted on the tops of the cabinets.

There are small heat sensors mounted inside the cabinets in different areas to monitor and track temperature levels, 24/7.

Currently, the cluster has it’s own HVAC system the takes air out of the cluster through an outside exhaust and a separate vent that continuously pulls fresh air in. There have been no issues with ABS fumes with our current system in place. However, we are starting to explore ideas for direct ventilation from the cabinets, for the future.

I hope I was able to answer all your questions and if you have any more, I’ll be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities.

That’s super-useful. Thank you!

What sort of temperature do the boxes settle at?

Do you do anything with the information from the temperature sensors? I guess there’s no temperature regulation per se, so is it to offer some kind of early warning in the event something goes wrong?

The temperature range of the cabinets are around 90 degrees F. (on the bottom shelf) to about 105 degrees F. (on the top shelf).

After installing the temperature sensors in the cabinets, we took a month or so of consistent readings to figure out optimal temps for bed adhesion. With the current temp range, we have very little issues with bed adhesion and have not needed to reference sensor data since. It may be useful as an early warning system (if temps drop to low or if there are drafts inside the cabinets). However, you will generally see prints warping or lifting off the bed before registering dramatic changes from the sensors. I would recommend temp sensors more for initial cabinet setup, dialing in consistency of cabinet temperatures and possibly research purposes.

On a side note: we do have the cluster HVAC system set at a consistent 80 degrees F. We have noticed that, trying to keep the room temperature below 80 degrees, can start to cause more consistent issues with warp/lift.