My Ghetto Enclosure

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zemlin
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by zemlin » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:12 pm

I just finished my first enclosure. My main priority was to git-r-done and not make a major project out of it. Wifey requested that move the stinky machine out of the house, so it is now in the garage. I needed an enclosure because the garage gets fairly cool in winter (upper 40s F), so I figured I'd make it properly heated.

This is made from 1 4x8 sheet of 1" foil-faced foam insulation and a roll of aluminum foil tape. The dual pane 5x7 glass window is just taped on for now. I'll make a frame/bezel to mount it in the foam.

In the back corner of the enclosure I mounted a cheap heat gun from my model airplane days.
https://www.hobbyzone.com/building-supp ... AqXB8P8HAQ

It's controlled by a cheap controller I found on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OX ... UTF8&psc=1

The light is an IKEA USB light pointed at the top of the enclosure so the light reflects off the foil.

There's also a 120mm computer fan in there just to keep the air moving to help reduce temperature gradients.

The enclosure gets up to 70C in just a couple of minutes. Should cut bed heating times substantially.

When it gets warm in the garage I may need to add an exhaust fan to the cooling circuit when I don't need a high-temp space.

Internal dimensions are 22" wide, 25" deep, and 24" high. The sides, back, and top are taped together as a single unit which can be lifted off the base.

Some of the first parts I print will be ABS replacements for some of the PLA parts I have on the printer, as I'm sure they'll start to droop from the heat.
IMG_2627.JPG
IMG_2629.JPG

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Jules
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by Jules » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:28 pm

Ingenuity at it's finest! Chuckle! (Let me know if it works - mine will be similar if I ever get around to building one.) :D

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zemlin
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by zemlin » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:00 pm

My $3 web cam doesn't like the heat. Guess I'll have to mount it outside looking through a peeky-hole.
seems the heat gun doesn't like the heat either. It's gone after just a few short prints, and made quite a mess when it died. Going to have to tear down the printer and clean it up before running it again. Going to replace the heat gun with ceramic heaters. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RG ... X9FCLLPZ6D

ksevcik
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by ksevcik » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:21 am

You're going to laugh, but I don't care. What about slapping a Countertop Convection Cooker on the side of your enclosure? On the one hand, you'll have to hot-wire the electronics since the lowest that unit goes is 120C and the timer only goes to 60 minutes. On the other hand, it's designed to run at up to 250C for 60 minutes. Running at 70C for hours on end should be cake.

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zemlin
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by zemlin » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:33 am

ksevcik wrote:You're going to laugh, but I don't care. What about slapping a Countertop Convection Cooker on the side of your enclosure?
Never heard of such a thing. Might not be a bad idea, except I already ordered the ceramic heaters, and I already have the temp controller set up.

Would be pretty nifty to be able to make parts and cook a chicken at the same time!

ksevcik
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by ksevcik » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:45 am

My next suggestion was going to be a food dehydrator. That one is fixed at 160F/71C, but there's others that have analog or digital regulation built in. And again, designed out of the box to run forever.

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zemlin
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by zemlin » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:55 am

Turns out when a box is built from insulation, it's pretty well insulated. Back printing again - running PETG with a glass bed at 85C. Internal temp of the box is hovering around 51C with no heat added. I was thinking I could wait until summer to add an exhaust fan for cooling, but I think it's going to happen soon. Had intended to run the PETG with an enclosure temp of 35C - for no particular reason.

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zemlin
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by zemlin » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:28 pm

The Ceramic heaters (link above) arrived yesterday and I tried them out in the enclosure. They are about 80mm diameter and I have an 80mm fan blowing down on each one of the heater elements which also keeps the air moving inside the box. Seems like this is going to be a good solution for temperature control in the box. I also added a 50mm fan which sucks air out of the bottom of the enclosure for cooling - fresh are would come primarily through a hole in the bottom of the enclosure for wire pass-through. This works well for cooling when the enclosure temperature is high, but I think I'll up-size it to an 80mm fan for a little more cooling capacity. Hopefully that won't draw too much fresh air for control at higher temps.

While the box made from insulation isn't exactly elegant, it has some real advantages.
1) Super lightweight - could do like the infomercials and show a woman wearing heels and pearls lifting the enclosure with one finger.
2) Easy-peasy rework - need a new hole for cooling? No problem - the nearest steak knife is all you need (although I used a core saw)
3) It really does a great job retaining the heat
4) Sometimes you just need to stab it - To position the thermocouple in my box, I zip-tied it to a bamboo skewer and just poked the skewer into the foam. Works great. There are a couple other odd-and-ends I just jabbed into the foam. Simple, easy, and effective.
5) Cheap, and no special tools required to build it. A straight-edge and a knife are all you really need.

No regrets at this point.

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zemlin
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Re: My Ghetto Enclosure

Post by zemlin » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:47 pm

The enclosure is evolving. I made an ABS frame for the double-pane 5x7 window. Last night I added LED lighting strips to the top of the box. The next piece is a vent/hot-air-trap to bring in more outside air when the cooling fan is on. I have a nifty web-cam mount partially designed - hope to get that finished and printing this weekend. I miss the web-cam, especially with the printer in the garage now.

Once the web-cam mount is in place I'll post some more photos and details of the 'finished' enclosure.

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