3D Printer Heated Enclosure

Design files for this project can be found at the end of the post

The more reliable my 3D printing setup gets, the greater the desire to move towards printing more exotic filaments. Materials such as nylon (PA) or polycarbonate (PC) have better trade-offs in mechanical properties compared to PLA or PETG filaments in areas such as strength, temperature resistance, and stiffness at the cost of being harder to print. One of the common requirements for printing such filaments is that the printer needs to be fully enclosed and heated to prevent drafts and temperature differentials from warping off the print bed mid-print.

Here I’ll also document and provide source files in this post for the various modifications I’ve made to my Prusa i3 MK3S in the process of moving it into a custom heated enclosure.

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Filament Dry Box

There has been some recent developments in exploring the impact of moisture on 3D prints, and from my experience so far I’ve found that having dry filament makes a significant difference in both print quality and consistency. For the types of filament that I typically print with, drying the filament drastically reduces the amount of ooze and stringing, resulting in a noticeable improvement in print quality. Filament that is too dry however has terrible bridging characteristics as the plastic tends to become too sticky.

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Japan Trip 2019

I had accumulated quite a number of vacation days at work that I would have lost at the start of the new year, so I decided to burn it all by taking a long three week vacation in Japan. The trip itself centered mostly on the Kansai area near Osaka and Kyoto, with a excursions to a few other cities on the Sanyo and Tokaido shinkansen lines.

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Prusa 360° Cooling Shroud

Update 4/9/2020 – Updated design to revision E1
Update 6/24/2020 – Updated design to revision E2

Earlier this year I bought and assembled my own Prusa i3 mk3s as a quick way to iterate on various mechanical projects in the comfort of my apartment. There are plenty of reviews online for this model so I won’t be providing my own review here. I will however, say that this printer has vastly exceeded my expectations for the price. The small list of modifications that I have made to this printer so far include:

After replacing the above components, I still encountered issues with uneven cooling on bridges and overhangs. This prompted me to try my hand at designing a better cooling shroud that evenly cools from all sides.

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Roland Toe Clamps

Design files for this project can be found here

One of the major drawbacks with a fixturing table is that it is difficult to mount a piece of stock in such a way that you have access to the entire top of the stock. With my fixturing table and top-down clamps, a flat piece of stock can be easily secured, but the top-down clamps limit the machinable area. Most CNC machines get around this via a vise mounted to the table, but due to the limited work area of the Roland this was not a feasible approach. Instead, I designed and machined out custom toe clamps to securely and accurately hold parts down from the sides.

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Projects by Kevin