802Projects 3D Printer Enclosure

I purchased my Creality CR-10s printer a few years ago. I have no complaints with it. It prints PLA fine and has been the perfect starter printer. It's quite advance for what it is, and there is a big community behind it with endless upgrades available.

Now I have another blog article about a Subaru Cabin Filter bracket I designed. It was an education lesson for me in plastic. The PLA I started with was not sustainable for automotive use as the in car temperature could exceed the softening temperature of PLA. This lead me into printing with ABS which has a much higher softening temperature. The problem is that ABS plastic is difficult to print. It smells, it requires a higher nozzle/bed temperature, and it is very prone to warping expecially with any kind of draft. An enclosure is required to get reliable prints.

I created my first box out of cardboard, zip ties and packaging tape. While it was not pretty, it did do the job... at least in the summer months. In the winter when my garage is cooler, it could not hold the heat in enough to make reliable prints. I'd get warping and the corners of my filter bracket would want to curl up. I opted to not print anything in the winter until I had time to make a better enclosure. Well that time finally came. I'll include some photos at the bottom, but here is a video I made showing the progress of the box.

I started making a bottomless box. I made a wood skeleton out of 1.25"x1.25" 2x4 I planed down. Then I enclosed it using 15/32" sanded grade plywood. I carefully cut out a door opening and used a stainless continuous hinge.

I filled all the screw holes and primered the entire box with Easy 1-2-3 primer. On the inside I added a coat of white high heat spray paint meat for a BBQ Grill. I then lined the inside with some aluminum flashing that I fastened with tacs. The outside I skimmed with mud to help hide the wood grain and did 4 coats of Rustoleum Satin Black paint. The can said "not recommended for rolling", but I rolled it on anyways with a high density roller.

It turned out great. The slot I had cut in the side for the opening was 3/8" wide. I decided to close it up a little more using a felt opening so that it would do an even better job maintaining heat. I didn't want to just glue felt to the box, so I made a trim piece for it.

Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out. I have my bed heat set to 86 C and my nozzle temp at 250 C. With the room temperature set to 56 F, the inside temp of the box caps out at around 84 F. This is plenty warm enough to get reliable abs prints. It also keeps the dust off my printer when not in use and certainly makes it look more professional than the hacked up cardbox box I was using.