[Asking for Help] Enclosure, PC fans, lighting and Raspberry Pi
 

[Asking for Help] Enclosure, PC fans, lighting and Raspberry Pi  

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Altarus
(@altarus)
Active Member

Hi everyone !

 

While I'm waiting for my Mini+ (first printer ever), I'm already thinking about the enclosure.

The Mini will be in my workshop, where I mainly work with wood and steel for now. The enclosure is mandated to protect the mini from the wood and steel dust! (Moreover, after many uses I would like to use harder materials to print than PLA and PETG)

The frame is 2 Ikea Plasta 60x55x60 cm stacked on each other. Top one will contain the printer, with a Värd (basically, a door). Bottom one, my stock of filament spools, tools for the mini, etc... And, if possible, due to the angle of the filament position on the mini, the active spool. Still need to think about that (and your advises too :D).

So, the mini will be on a concrete slab (50x50 cm) that I will put on foam (or maybe silicone pads). Not sure which type yet, but you got the idea for sound dampening.

(Sorry to be so descriptive, photos will be available next week, even Ikea is slow here with the pandemic...)

 

Now, my issue:

I would like to put light in it + some ventilation, with some automation on it.

I was thinking about 2 to 4 DEL bars for the lighting on the top of the enclosure that power up with the mini, and if possible (and RGB), can be customized to change colors depending of the state of the print (White for running, red for finish, etc... you got the idea)

And 3 x 120mm PC fans (Noctua <3) to:

  1. Intake with a special dust filter for small particles (always on, very low RPM, speed up if overheat)
  2. Exhaust with an HEPA (always on, very low RPM, speed up if overheat)
  3. A circulating fan inside the enclosure, very slow RPM, just to even the temp inside

At first, I was thinking about a Raspberry Pi 4B in order to use Octoprint on it, and automate fans and lights. Unfortunately I'm really new to that as well (I have an optical technical background, not focused on electronics).

 I can't find online how to power multiple PC fans with a Raspberry Pi nor how to automate them without a proper PC (plug in in a motherboard, etc...)

I also want to know if my idea for lights is doable ^^ and if it is, how 😀

Thx for reading me 🙂

Can't wait for your answers and my Cute Mini+ ❤️ 

 

[EDIT] Forgot to mention that I was also looking for the Raspberry Pi and Octoprint because you can plug in a camera and monitor the printer and do time-lapse

This topic was modified 4 months ago by Altarus
Posted : 10/03/2021 1:57 am
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Honorable Member

Firstly, you may be overthinking this:  I know there are a dozen or so people here with Mini problems trying more and more outlandish fixes but there are thousands of Mini users out there who don't seem to need them... Many of the posters here are causing their own issues.

You will probably be fine without the concrete slab and with a simpler enclosure - I agree, the enclosure sounds sensible in your environment.

There are a load of low priced add on boards that might help you with automation from the Pi, here is just one:

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/explorer-phat   (Don't be fooled by the text, this will work with the Pi4 as well.)

Explore that site and similar ones 'til you find a board with the capabilities you require; then check the data sheet to make sure you can understand the libraries that drive it.  Many are designed to be used by children in class.

Hth. Cheerio,

Posted : 10/03/2021 8:50 am
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Noble Member

You might like to look at the Octoprint plugin gpiocontrol, to control everything.

Posted : 10/03/2021 9:23 am
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Prominent Member

If you’re truly concerned about excessive dust damaging your machine, a homemade enclosure like this won’t cut it unless you can make it really airtight. There are commercial solutions available but they’re going to cost you almost as much as the mini. And if not, this sounds way over engineered (from a ventilation perspective).

Can’t help much as far as lighting ideas are concerned, I have a simple LED in my (LACK) enclosures. But keep in mind that the mini power supply doesn’t pack much oomph and you won’t be able to run the lights off the mini’s power, unless you like flickering lights when the printer heats up. 
On my Mk3s, the LED runs off their PSUs, on the Minis they have their own power. I just switch them on manually. 

Posted : 10/03/2021 12:11 pm
Altarus
(@altarus)
Active Member
Posted by: @diem

Firstly, you may be overthinking this:  I know there are a dozen or so people here with Mini problems trying more and more outlandish fixes but there are thousands of Mini users out there who don't seem to need them... Many of the posters here are causing their own issues.

You will probably be fine without the concrete slab and with a simpler enclosure - I agree, the enclosure sounds sensible in your environment.

I hear you ^^ But like I said, because i'm sanding a lot of woods with my dremel, dust fly everywhere, so I want at least the ventilation with a dust filter. Maybe the lights are a bit too overkill for a start, i'll still need to think about that.

 

Posted by: @diem

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/explorer-phat    (Don't be fooled by the text, this will work with the Pi4 as well.)

Explore that site and similar ones 'til you find a board with the capabilities you require; then check the data sheet to make sure you can understand the libraries that drive it.  Many are designed to be used by children in class.

I'll look at it 😀 Thx for the link.

Posted by: @towlerg

You might like to look at the Octoprint plugin gpiocontrol, to control everything.

With all the plug in for Octoprint, I didn't saw this one, thx for the heads up!

 

 

After typing all of that last night, and a good sleep, I was thinking: is not a small factor PC a better really idea here? Like mini ATX or ITX with a linux? I used to have Fedora 10 back in the day.

I don't have any PC in the workshop, so that can be a nice addition in any case...

Posted : 10/03/2021 12:18 pm
Altarus
(@altarus)
Active Member
Woops, new post while I'm posting myself ^^
 
Posted by: @fuchsr

If you’re truly concerned about excessive dust damaging your machine, a homemade enclosure like this won’t cut it unless you can make it really airtight. There are commercial solutions available but they’re going to cost you almost as much as the mini. And if not, this sounds way over engineered (from a ventilation perspective).

Can’t help much as far as lighting ideas are concerned, I have a simple LED in my (LACK) enclosures. But keep in mind that the mini power supply doesn’t pack much oomph and you won’t be able to run the lights off the mini’s power, unless you like flickering lights when the printer heats up. 
On my Mk3s, the LED runs off their PSUs, on the Minis they have their own power. I just switch them on manually. 

I have everything to make it air tight, and adding the fan + dust filter is no issue. The automation is ^^

It's true that I can just power it myself with a switch at first, but that's not very... elegant ^^

 

Yeah, my plan has always be to power fans and lights with an external power supply, and use a RPi (or mini PC) to monitor and control.

I'm still looking for solutions, thx for the message 🙂

Posted : 10/03/2021 12:25 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Prominent Member

@altarus

Send us pictures of when it’s done!

Posted : 10/03/2021 12:41 pm
Altarus
(@altarus)
Active Member
Posted by: @fuchsr

@altarus

Send us pictures of when it’s done!

Well, i'm here

So the complete setup will not be visible soon.tm x)

And I need the Mini to print the fans mounts, etc ^^

(also don't want to start drilling the holes before that ^^)

But I'll post the basic enclosure once it's mounted next week for sure

Posted : 10/03/2021 1:38 pm
HeneryH
(@heneryh)
Estimable Member

Here is a good document for PWM fan control.  Seems like Regardless of which DC V level fan you choose, the PWM control is a 5vdc control.  The document shows a recommended circuit to use for a Raspberry pi GPIO control. 

https://noctua.at/pub/media/wysiwyg/Noctua_PWM_specifications_white_paper.pdf

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by HeneryH
Posted : 10/03/2021 2:56 pm
HeneryH
(@heneryh)
Estimable Member

Control circuits

Posted : 10/03/2021 3:00 pm
Altarus
(@altarus)
Active Member

@heneryh

Thx ! I found a friends that can (maybe) help me a bit with the RPi stuff, so that will help us 🙂

Posted : 10/03/2021 3:29 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Honorable Member

@altarus

I was thinking: is not a small factor PC a better really idea here? Like mini ATX or ITX with a linux? I used to have Fedora 10 back in the day.

If 'back in the day' was more than four or five years ago you'll find a Pi4 is equivalent.  You can run Prusa Slicer on it if you like.  No, buy two.  Set one up as a desktop, the other as headless printer support and network them.

In fact a Pi4 is a bit overspecced for octoprint (a Pi0 will do at a pinch) but this way you have a spare to hand...

Cheerio

Posted : 10/03/2021 4:37 pm
HeneryH
(@heneryh)
Estimable Member
Posted by: @altarus

After typing all of that last night, and a good sleep, I was thinking: is not a small factor PC a better really idea here? Like mini ATX or ITX with a linux? I used to have Fedora 10 back in the day.

I don't have any PC in the workshop, so that can be a nice addition in any case...

I agree that a small form factor PC is overkill for this type of thing.  And way more expensive to boot.  And the Pi runs on a Debian style Linux (sorry, not a RPM style like Fedora) so you are going to pick that part up fine.

A Pi3 or Pi4 with all the bells and whistles will be under $100usd and much more fun to play with as well.

Posted : 10/03/2021 4:50 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Prominent Member

Depends I guess what you want to use it for. I have Pi3s to control my  printers but also a PC in my workshop. If all you want to do is control the mini and lighting, you don’t need a PC. But I also run all my design and modeling software on the PC plus email and other stuff when I’m idly watching the printers lay down their first layers... Or longer...watching them is as hypnotic as watching the laundry machine do its thing...

Posted : 10/03/2021 5:38 pm
HeneryH
(@heneryh)
Estimable Member

@fuchsr

I'd like to explore more about how OctoPi can interact with MQTT and other home automation systems as an option rather than just using the GPIO but that will likely be down the road for me.

Posted : 10/03/2021 5:41 pm
Altarus
(@altarus)
Active Member
Posted by: @fuchsr

Depends I guess what you want to use it for. I have Pi3s to control my  printers but also a PC in my workshop. If all you want to do is control the mini and lighting, you don’t need a PC. But I also run all my design and modeling software on the PC plus email and other stuff when I’m idly watching the printers lay down their first layers... Or longer...watching them is as hypnotic as watching the laundry machine do its thing...

Yeah, if I go for the mini PC, it will be for using solidworks as well.

But I'm still unsure so I'm still thinking all the solutions, I got time until the mini arrive ^^

 

Posted : 10/03/2021 7:30 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Honorable Member

@fuchsr

But I also run all my design and modeling software on the PC plus email and other stuff

A Pi4 can do all of that: I do a lot of my quick-and-dirty small part design with OpenSCAD on the Pi and slice there too.  Mostly I use RasPup, (Puppy Linux) instead of Raspbian but that's quite capable.

Bigger jobs go on a linux Pc.  Some are edited on one machine and rendered on another.

watching them is as hypnotic as watching the laundry machine do its thing...

But you don't get quite as dizzy.

Cheerio,

 

Posted : 10/03/2021 7:54 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Prominent Member

Worst, I can’t stop counting as I’m watching the mesh bed leveling move the pinda across the sheet.  The mini isn’t too bad but on the Mk3S with 7x7 leveling.... 1, 2, 3,...

Posted : 10/03/2021 8:13 pm
HeneryH
(@heneryh)
Estimable Member
Posted by: @fuchsr

Worst, I can’t stop counting as I’m watching the mesh bed leveling move the pinda across the sheet.  The mini isn’t too bad but on the Mk3S with 7x7 leveling.... 1, 2, 3,...

Like me putting my weeks worth of daily meds in my reminder dispenser.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.  For God's same HeneryH, there are only seven bins and it is super easy to see if you already put a pill in each bin.  Next week.....  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Posted : 10/03/2021 8:16 pm
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Noble Member

You must be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the kind reply's. Two things I would recommend, do not tie streaming of data to the printer with any other task. It seems to be a recurring theme that some CAD packages have a tendency to produce broken STL's, so before you start on the learning curve (which I found pretty steep) search through posts here and on other 3d printing boards re. things that didn't slice as expected, STL's with errors etc etc.

FWIW I use Design Spark, it's free, not tied to remote servers and very capable. Having said that, Fusion 360 is widely used but personally I don't like unnecessarily paying for software nor the level of control applied by Autodesk, but that's just me, no flames please.

Posted : 11/03/2021 11:18 am
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