Recommended environment / enclosure
Hello, I'm new to this forum and also to Prusa printers 🖐️ Have som experience with an easier printer and have been wanting to have one of the Prusa printers for long so I ordered a MK3s after christmas and the waiting feels looong 🤓
So while I'm waiting thought it would be a good idea to make a room/place for it since I have som space left. Been looking at what some other people have done and also the "Prusa Lack" solution. But I think I will get a data cabinet made of steel and glass, maybe 600x600x750 or higher. The problem would be the rising temperature inside during a long print, that can be solved with a controlled opening or a fan. So I was wondering what is the:
- Optimal temperature and humidity for printing with the MK3s? Probably going to print PLA or PETG 95% of the prints.
- Optimal temperature and humidity for storing filament (prusament)?
The data cabinet will probably stand in a room with 10-15 degrees celsius. Is that too cold to start printing? I'm counting on that the printer and heatbed will increase the temperature in the cabinet pretty fast. And then controlling the fans to remove excess heat.
Should the filament-roll be placed outside the cabinet during print due to the heat inside cabinet?
Lot of questions 🤠
below 15C the printer mintemp safety guard kicks in, so you may find it difficult to start prints without warming the enclosure.
If the enclosure maintains a higher temperature during the print, you may find that you have issues with PLA Prints... due to heat creep, if the extruder cooling fan is unable to cool the extruder heatsink sufficiently...
the electronics and powersupply, don't like elevated temperatures so people often site them outside the enclosure...
However, most datacomms cabinets are made of steel, if the external temperature is 10C to 15C, you may find that there is sufficient heat transfer through the steel walls and top, to maintain a reasonable temperature inside the enclosure, without forced cooling.
most datacomms cabinets have ventilation at the top and open bottoms with relatively poor fitting doors, so the cabinet is likely to act like a thermal pump / chimney, and ventilate heat out of the top
enclosures are usually provided to:
1, Look pretty (keep the associated paraphenalia tidy) which can include the filament feed reels
2, create controlled environment with a raised temperature to prevent higher temperature prints de-laminating,
3, keep nosey people's fingers out...
4, control fumes,
5, reduce humidity
6, a combination of the above
so you have a number of contending factors...
PLA rarely needs an enclosure, PETG is more tollerant of enclosures ABS is likely to delaminate in a cold environment.
If your enclosure does indeed capture heat and retain it, you may find that PLA is problematic, leaving the enclosure door open would usually be enough to resolve this issue, but would then not keep nosey fingers out...
if your enclosure needs a fan, to vent the excess heat out of the cabinet, there is a probability that cold incomming air could cause delamination with ABS.
Some filaments require more management than others PLA and PETG are relatively resilient. PVA, TPU, and Nylon are comparatively hygroscopic. putting the filament dispenser inside the cabinet may reduce the relative humidity and reduce moisture absorbtion...
If you can obtain a taller datacomms cabinet, you could consider putting an electric dehydrator in the bottom and the printer on a higher shelf, with perhaps filament storage inside if sufficient space exists.
with a little ingenuity it would be possible to put a filament spool holder inside the dehumidifier and use a reverse bowden feed to transport the filament from the dehumidifier to the extruder, note, you would need to provide some sort of 'buffer' or 'rewind' facility, to prevent the extruder back feeding filament to the spool and causing knots...
the dehydrator could double as a heat booster to raise the temperature inside the cabinet above 15C to help start printing. you could try running some test prints and monitor the temperature change inside the cabinet and perhaps use Gaffer tape to control drafts and air leakage from the cabinet if necessary.
if you find that the temperature is getting a bit high inside the cabinet, you could consider using a fan, (INSIDE THE CABINET) with a hose, to transfer the heated air from the top, to the bottom to provide a more even thermal gradient. this may be sufficient to mitigate your heat dissipation needs by making the entire cabinet wall surface area into a heat transfer facility, if sufficient, this would probably preclude drafts making sensitive filaments less likely to de-laminate, however creating a sealed environment would prevent the dehydrator from working efficiently. so you wouldn't want to completely seal the cabinet...
At the end of the day, we don't know enough about your particular setup to give you absolute answers, but the above information should help you move forward.
Thank you Joan for your very thorough answer, it really helped med think about certain things.
I think that I will start by trying out printing inside the cabinett and have some heat sensors in different places. As I read in another thread the recommended temperature by Prusa was a maximum around 40C so I would want to stay somewhere around 20-40C but rather around 20-25C.
When the MK3s arrives I will start tinkering with this and maybe get back with some photos.