As we were designing an enclosure for the Mini, it became clear that we’d have to rearrange the hinged arm for the filament spool. I never really liked this part of the printer anyways. It was alway flipping down and spilling the spool, anytime I moved the printer. And, it doesn’t really get it out of harms way for transport, as it is still sticking out from the frame, and swings around freely. Mostly I didn’t care for the way it impinged on the otherwise clean profile of opening on the right side of the machine.
So, on with the redesign. First we didn’t want to modify the frame of the machine. Second, we wanted a simple removable arm, for travel. Third it needed to be strong, secure, and not prone to shifting around.
Here is we we came up with:
First we modified the original arm by cutting off the hinged section at the bottom and tapering it smoothly. This was as simple as a quick trip to the band saw and a file. This saved the trouble of reprinting the spool arm, but we executed the same mod on the stl file for this part, using a short OpenSCAD program (attached).
Next we designed a simple U bracket to mount to the side of the machine using the existing mounting holes, and the original hinge plate (reversed). Only other thing required was four 25mm M3 machine screws to install on the frame.
Agreed. The frame of the Mini was a much bigger challenge to enclose than say a Replicator or Flashforge. Having the Y axis protrude complicates things quite a bit, but this machine was a generous donation to our hacker space (Sector 67), so we wanted to enclose it with minimal modifications, just in case the enclosure caused temperature problems for the hardware.
In all it was a fun challenge to get the enclosed volume small, minimize the changes, and preserve access and allow for easy maintenance. Ultimately, it could have just been a cardboard box over the printer, but I think this looks better.
I was thinking about the movement of the top of the printer shaking the vertical posts/screws… It’s GOT to effect prints, and I’d have no problems drilling some holes to try to rid of it.
It IS very hard to figure out with the large build dimensions within such a small frame, and having the Y Axis protruding out the back and front.
My idea was to build legs off of the frame, and keep a somewhat flat design… a little easier to cut and hinge…
As far as the top lid, I was considering a design that would let you install a couple of the (included) wiper pads, to act as filament scrubbers(filament wipers)??? Or perhaps, as you replace them from the wiper/cleaner???
Again… it’s hard to do as even that axis borderline protrudes from the frame of the machine…
Hi Jim the enclosure looks great. If you don’t mind me asking how thick is the plexiglas. What type of clips were used to secure the plastic to the clips to fasten to the frame. I like to try to add at least the sides to the frame to start. The front and back covers on your printer are awesome. Would you be willing to share the info on how they are made?
The dxf file to laser cut and the stl to print them are attached below. I also put these and the dxf files for the side panels up on thingiverse (search on DrazzticAction or Lulzbot).
All the panels are 3mm acrylic, laser cut. To attach them, the two smaller clips go on the top, and the two longer clips in slots on the bottom of each panel. The lower clips slid up to install and down to engage and lock the panel to the frame. They hold very well.
The front and back covers are somewhat more complicated, as they need to accommodate the Y axis travel. For these I designed snap together panels with bays for the build platform, and a door for access. The cut files are more critical for these pieces, and dependent on the material thickness. I’ve put the hinge and latch files up on thingiverse, and attached them below