Temperature variance, problems caused by vibration, and people accidentally bumping into things: these are some common pitfalls of the 3D printing process addressed by a new Kickstarter project. The Maker Kase – Universal 3D Printer Cabinet is a project by the small family-based company People Wear Inc. The group writes on their Kickstarter page that the idea for this durable cabinet was inspired by necessity. People Wear has been active in the retail and production industry for over a decade and relies on desktop CNC and 3D printers to speed up the design and production process for their clients. They have used Makerbot's Cupcake and an 8'x8' RepRap PrintrBot and currently use Afinia machines in their work.
Experience with 3D printing lead them to design the Maker Kase:
"[W]e decided to use our resources and create our own cabinets that could sit on our desks and protect our equipment from all of the variables that left us frustrated. We knew from the beginning we wanted a cabinet that was similar in durability and structure to professional grade equipment. After a few weeks of tinkering in Solidworks, we had a design we really liked and was big enough for all current and foreseen machines."
The group worked with a production partner who had the equipment and expertise needed to prototype the cabinet. They wanted to design a cabinet built to their specifications and which would allow easy customization. The Maker Kase can be used for a variety of purposes: a 3D printer cabinet, a drying cabinet for model makers, or a cabinet to store a custom mining rig – among other things.
People Wear describes their design process on their Kickstarter page:
"We knew we would want to put lighting into the cabinet so that we would be able to watch a print in progress, so we made sure the cabinet would have a knockout panel in the front for a single gang metal box. This meant we would use either 110v or low voltage to power up a standard light bulb or led bulb. We liked the idea of the power switch being right in the front. We also learned that cold temperatures or a draft could destroy the print, making it imperative to heat our cabinets. We looked to the Maker community for this and found many people using the small STC-1000 PID units to do this. The PID would also come in handy for drying paint on a newly built model. Therefore, we decided to also create a knock out in the front for the PID so we could add heating to the cabinets if we wanted to. Wire management and the ability to vent fumes from the cabinet were also important, thus, we decided to build two knock outs, one on each side of the cabinet at a large 2" diameter for wire management or installing a small 12v fan to duct out fumes or excessive heat from a mining rig."
The group ended up with an elegant and functional design solution and began with a small batch of prototypes for their office. After receiving several requests for the cabinets from visitors to their work space – they decided to try to make their cabinet available to a wider audience.
Key specifications of the Maker Kase are the following:
- Available in solid Stainless Steel or mild steel with White or Black Powder coat finish.
- Top lifting panel to access cabinet from the top only. Handle is flush with top panel when not in use. Will be added in PRODUCTION.
- Front opening panel with clear plexiglass window to see what is printing. Handle is solid steel for years of operation.
- Dual knock out panels in front of cabinet for personal customization.
- One knockout is for a standard metal single gang electric box
- One knockout is for a PID Thermostat Controller Model STC-1000
- Each side of the cabinet has a 2" knockout panel for cables or venting.
- Cabinet has 4 rubber feet to reduce vibrations and ensure a sturdy footprint.
- Cabinet has a lock on the front door for security or accidental opening during printing.
- All materials are ROHS compliant for environmental impact guidelines.
- Cabinet weighs roughly 45lbs
- Cabinet has basic dimensions of: 24" Wide x 22" High x 22" Deep
A white or black powder coated Maker Kase and a solid stainless steel Maker Kase cost $300 and $450 respectively.
The Maker Kase is a great solution for some of the common problems of 3D printing – head over to their Kickstarter page for more details on the project.
Posted in 3D Printer Accessories
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Ethan N. wrote at 1/24/2014 4:51:15 PM:
I emailed them in regards to heating cabinet..they said adding in the electronics would infringe on a patent so they left that up to the end user...with everyone so "sue" happy latelty I get it... anyways just pledged for a white one- hope they make it
robert wrote at 1/24/2014 4:02:54 AM:
I would say they didnt include the temp controls because then it gets a little hairy with a certain companies patent in regards to chamber heating... this way they can let the end user do it the way they want and not take the liability... besides they have to pay a percentage to kickstarter and you can get the stuff on ebay cheaper than they could probably sell it for... Im going to see how much extra funds are available this month and get a white one.. my apartment is hot so im not worried about heating the cabinet... I just think it looks cool and will bring a high end look to my reprap
Ben wrote at 1/23/2014 10:30:39 PM:
I thought it strange that he did not include the temp controls in any of the pledges
Jon S wrote at 1/23/2014 5:31:39 PM:
I'm glad to see somebody doing this (I've designed my own cabinet, but haven't gotten around to building it yet). However, it would be better for sound reduction if the sides were not parallel. Avoiding parallel sides eliminates resonant frequencies.