Taz5 Cat Guard Build February 2016

Sharing notes from my build for future Cat Guard Builders…

I built the Cat Guard enclosure for my Lulzbot Taz 5. The Open Hardware Assembly Instructions (OHAI) are provided by Lulzbot along with a Bill of Materials (BOM).

Following BOM v1.1, I was able obtain all the hardware from Misumi using the part numbers provided. The total cost before shipping was $233.88. They have a nice quote system to provide an estimate before placing your order. Considering all the custom cuts, ordering was easy.

I made one substitution in my order from Misumi. I ordered black hinges instead of the specified stainless steel hinges. The BOM v1.1 specifies 2 silver “HHPSN5-SET” hinges. I changed this to 2 black “HHPBSN5-SET” hinges. Cost was the same. Other then this substitution, I ordered the exact part numbers specified and all lengths were correct.

In addition to the hardware, the instructions call for 5 pieces of 6mm (1/4”) acrylic. 4 with corner notches. I had harder time sourcing the acrylic. My local glass shop charged me $254.40 for the 5 pieces. They would not cut the required corner notches for a reasonable rate. I cut the notches myself.

My local glass shop would only take dimensions in inches. I sent the following dimensions to my local glass shop:

  1. 30 1/8 x 20 7⁄8
  2. 23 1⁄4 x 27
  3. 23 1⁄4 x 27
  4. 31 7⁄8 x 27
  5. 31 7⁄8 x 23 1⁄4

I had to cut notches in 4 of the acrylic pieces following the Cat Guard Plate template. I used a small hacksaw and a template I 3D printed to cut all the 6mm x 11mm notches. I’ve shared the cutting template on thingiverse.

The final component are the rubber feet ordered from Advanced Antivibration components for $11.04. I had to order a whole sheet of the feet. They are the same feet that come on the Taz 5. I have plenty remaining in case I ever need one.

Assembly is straightforward. The instructions are easy to follow. The only issue I have is the centering of the door. The instructions say to vertically center the door but it sags. To make it straight I had to lower the door hinges leaving a bigger gap at the top. I may fix this by printing a small support piece. Still investigating.

Total Price: $499.32

The enclosure is big. In the photos, I have the printer sitting on a 48” tabletop.

There is a vent cover in the Cat Guard Repository. No instructions provided. I emailed support and they are unaware of reason for the vent cover. They said as long as the internal temperatures are staying below 95 degree, there is no need to vent the electronics. The Cat Guard is vented at the bottom because of the rubber feet and the space around the door.

I would vent the electronics. If you start to notice that during long prints you get unexpected pauses or jerky stepper motion or even layer shifts though the bed itself isn’t loose, thats a symptom the board is getting too hot. You want cool air to the main board. THe LCD doesn’t matter.

Yep. Vent the electronics. Try to fill the gap at the top of the door… better to have the gap at the bottom than the top if you need to have a gap.

Thanks for sharing your notes, and thanks for the photos. Those really put into perspective how big the enclosure is.

How sturdy is the top piece of acrylic? Would it support a couple of cats?

I’m planning on building one of these for my TAZ 5 soon, but I know as soon as it’s up my cats will be perched on top of it… :unamused:


It is pretty sturdy with the 1/4" plexiglass roof. The 1/4" is stiff and heavy. It would easily withstand a single cat attack. If you needed reinforcements for a double cat attack. You could cut the roof in half and order extra 2020 for a middle support.

It is a big enclosure, but I’ve been happy with the access to the Taz. I was able to lean in and do a full maintenance of tightening all my screws and level the bed.


It will definitely be a two cat attack. Thanks for the idea of adding a center support, I will definitely try that. :slight_smile:

Does anybody know if you would be able to mount an air filter on the back wall of one of the Acrylic pieces? I am currently designing an air filter following this guide: http://www.3dprintfilemarket.com/140629194058.html
(The guide claims that you can get a filter that is 3X more efficient than a HEPA filter)

Instead of buying a $1500 piece of equipment like the boxes sold by 3Dprintclean.com I would like to attempt to build this and install a filter.

I was also wondering if anybody had any success building this CAT-Guard and installing the Scrubber ($300 from 3dprintclean.com) http://www.3dprintclean.com/scrubber-filtration on the back or side acrylic pane.

I am new to CAD design but I am guessing you could use brackets to mount the Fan-Assembly to the acrylic pane. But if it is simply being held up by behind placed into a slot inside the Aluminum extrusion I doubt it would be sturdy at all.

Feel free to reach out to me directly if you would like to collaborate on the design. I will be installing a fan-filter, raspberry pi side mount, holes for power chord and usb chord, and a side hole for the fan on the power supply,

Again, any advice is appreciated. Thank and best wishes,


Hmm… use a hole saw to cut the opening (or just cut a square that fits the box fan) and print an adapter for the exhaust assembly. If you have the dimensions, I’m sure someone here can help you design the adapter. Try 123D as a good start, good tutorials on youtube to get you started.

As is the door will always sag. Adding a support underneath the door will help significantly, but if you try lifting the far end of your door you can likely get the whole enclosure to shift some (or at some point it will once the door has been cycled enough.) Splitting the front door into two separate doors would likely take care of most of the issues with this design and I doubt it would hurt to print some external corner supports for the places which they can be added.

I have had a TAZ 4 in the same enclosure for almost two years and there have not been significant issues and the only component that has failed so far was the power supply which was kept outside of the enclosure. You could also get several adhesive backed liquid crystal thermometer like those used for a aquarium/terrarium and stick them in different spots to make it easy to check about what the temperature inside the enclosure is.

Thanks for the tips. I’ll try printing a little support for the bottom of the door to at least keep it straight. I had thought about splitting the door as well. Did you do any of these fixes?

Fixing the door is a side project at work, so let’s just say progress has been slow. The only thing that I have finished enough to share are the two clips I printed to mount to the t-slots below the door. They are sized to measurements from my enclosure so if you want to use them you will likely have to adjust the height of your door or remake your own. Basically they are both ramps to help to get the door to where it needs to go when it is closed (there is no specific placement for them, the inner pieces goes closer towards the hinge and the outer further away.)
riser_clip_inner.stl (43.4 KB)
riser_clip_outer.stl (29.4 KB)

I printed these brackets to replace the L-brackets on the door. I made two different bracket designs, both 5 mm thick, but one with the bolt holes recessed some so it will work with the original hardware. Just adding one to the door on the side of the hinges made a huge improvement to it. I used one for each corner of the door though as having it asymmetrical really would bug me.

When I get a chance I will print two more of these and mount them to the outside of the top front corners of the enclosure (that or see if all the bolts are loose and that is why it shifts some when the door is opened.)
door_corner_recessed.stl (374 KB)
door_corner_5mm.stl (252 KB)

Do you have a list of the part numbers you used when ordering from Misumi?