July 26, 2015 | By Simon

For those who use fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers, it’s a common fact that calibrating temperatures for various parts of the 3D printing process can not only be a frustrating process, but also entirely necessary if quality 3D printed objects are the expected outcome - and when are they not?  

One of the most popular solutions for this has been in housing 3D printers within a controlled environment that not only keeps the air around the 3D printer stable, but also prevents temperature fluctuations from unexpected breezes.

While there are plenty of options for purchasing a ready-made 3D printer enclosure, note everybody is willing or able to break into their piggy banks to purchase one.  Like most other things, the next best option is to build a solution yourself.  Thankfully, Instructables user ‘phatima’ recently did this himself using cheap and widely-available IKEA furniture and generously shared his build instructions.     

“Having recently acquired a 3d printer, i quickly noticed that, despite calibrations, there were a few temperature-related problems,” explains phatima.  

“The chief among them was the amount of time the bed took to heat up, the room was not able to hold the temperature unless the doors were shut and the curtains pulled - this lead to another problem, I was overheating!  We also had problems with layer delamination on larger prints in ABS - something that could be solved by keeping the printer in a warmer environment.”

After playing around with some spare IKEA “Lack” tables that he had laying around, phatima noticed that when they were stacked atop each other, his printer was able to perfectly fit inside.  From here, he knew that upcycling the tables into a 3D printer enclosure would be the perfect way of creating a low-cost controlled environment for his 3D printer.    

In his build instructions, phatima outlines that in order to build an enclosure for yourself, two of the Lack tables are needed to provide the foundation of the structure, which retail for $9.99 apiece.  

“You want to drill the holes off-center in the bottom of the legs, as when it comes to drilling holes in the top of the other table, there is a metal screw that is used to attach the tabletop to the leg. Once you've drilled the holes in the bottom of the legs, use these holes as a guide to drill into the top of the other table,” he explains.  

Additionally, phatima recommends that users try their hardest to not be too vigorous with the assembly until it’s had the opportunity to dry overnight.  

Aside from saving valuable desk space, an added bonus of attaching the two tables together, according to phatima, has been a massive increase in stability, which has helped reduce the vibrations of his printer.  

Once the frame of the enclosure has been assembled, the remainder of the Instructable centers around mounting four transparent viewing windows, sensors, a fan, an embedded wire system and a Raspberry Pi for users to monitor the temperature of the environment in real time without needing to open the enclosure.

“With the enclosure, the room that my printer is in is at a much more comfortable temperature, which is by far the biggest benefit in the summer months,” adds phatima.  

Although he has yet to do a long print inside of his new enclosure, doing so is next on his agenda and he plans on providing updates afterwards.

For those interested in building a 3d printer enclosure similar to phatima’s using the IKEA Lack tables, be sure to read the project instructions in-full over at Instructables.    


 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

 

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Jason wrote at 2/1/2018 5:22:31 PM:

For the cost of the table, or any piece of square wood, you could simply make a bottom to it and cinch up those legs by giving it a solid bottom. you could use that as a bottom shelf to store reels , casters if your feeling lucky. Roll it into closet when not in use.

Bill wrote at 8/6/2016 4:58:06 PM:

NICE!! Thanks man.

lifecycled wrote at 4/30/2016 3:50:50 AM:

My M3D (just sold in anticipation of a Trinus) was housed nicely in a discarded Fishtank. The Plastic Hood was easily modded to add IEC socket attached to local 4 way power board (Kept all power supplies in the Hood). Switched LED downlights. Worked a treat.

James Nordstrom wrote at 8/4/2015 3:13:53 AM:

If interested, we are about to release the 3DPrintClean enclosure and filtration system. Our system enables 3D printing in PLA, ABS, HIPS, and other media, without external ventilation. See: www.3dprintclean.com for details.

NorwegianMaker wrote at 7/31/2015 9:39:32 AM:

I have been using two IKEA Lack tables stacked for 3D printing tables for 2,5 years now. No issues, just use some 8cm screws through the bottom top before applying the legs for stiffening. Dirt sheep, got mine for 2,5$ on sale! :-)

3DzPrinting wrote at 7/26/2015 9:33:04 AM:

I would actually worry about the sturdiness of the tables. I know IKEA isn't really made for stability. lol Depending on what Printer you are enclosing, it will vibrate and shake (as they do) and I would think the bottom table would need braces to help it from shaking more than the printer can handle. But I am not an engineer...just a printer. lol



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