How to build a MINI enclosure with 2020 I-Type extrusions (w/ pictures)
Hi MINI owners,
3 things go together: there is a manufacturer for aluminum extrusions in town, it is fun to use FreeCAD and a new Prusa MINI arrived. 🙂 The outcome: see pictures. I dubbed it K's MINI Enclosure:
If you like this type of enclosure and wish to build your own, feel free and do it. It's open source, all data is available on my project homepage at katerkamp.de and files reside on Github.
BTW, this may even be of interest for those of you intending to build wooden enclosures and waiting for delivery of the MINI. FreeCAD files contain all needed mechanical dimensions, so it is worth installing FreeCAD.
I have no clue if there is some interest in this kind of metal based enclosure. Please drop a note here what you think of it. If there is interest in buying frame kits (just the extrusions drilled and tapped) I'd look into details and ask for quotes at a sheltered workshop nearby. However, there is more to it. All required 3DP parts should be printed with ASA or ABS - which needs an enclosure. Kind of chicken and egg problem.... (I have no experience with other materials, material as seen on the pictures is ASA.)
I like the idea and appreciate you sharing all your work! For my taste it's a little bit too complicated, I think, I'd simply stick to a box. 🙂 But I will definitely will implement some of your ideas in my own casing. I'll try to convert this: http://www.rc-network.de/forum/showthread.php/736771-quot-Mein-quot-Druckergeh%C3%A4use-der-quot-HomeCube-quot to the mini.
Great work, keep the updates coming! 🙂
I wonder if you could print the 2020. You'd need to come up with a way to join sections.
btw. i still wonder what the realistic footprint of the mini is for xy and z., cables, bed travel and everything included?
Thanks for the replies. Yes it is quite some work to build it. Your i3 box also looks good and I had a similar idea first. However, I built a Voron2 before this one and I did like the ideas there, so I went for this more complicated but smaller enclosure.
Re footprint of the MINI: I started off by drafting the MINI using FreeCAD part workbench, a quick and coarse job. The enclosure does fit fine with the MINI I received, so dimensions measured and modeled into CAD seem to be good enough. There have been some updates on MINI parts recently (in its Github hardware repo), but they do not seem to have an impact on its overall size, which means even the updated MINI should fit. The CAD file of the draft is PrusaMiniOutline.FCStd in the K-MINI-Enclosure repo and it looks like this:
Thank you, I installed FreeCad but found it a bit cumbersome to get a good measurement so I exported it as .obj and took the measurements in Fusion360. 🙂
If I'm not mistaken (and I rounded up a little), those should be fine?
I really like that you placed the electronics outside the enclosure. Did you have to lengthen the wires?
Sure. The dimensions seem to be OK for me, inner side, cover to cover surface. The K-MINI-Enclosure is 40cm x 45cm (54cm incl. handles) x 49cm (Width x Height x Depth) including Quicklocks. No cable mods needed on my MINI, including filament sensor.
nice. I like the all see-through style of your enclosure...comes in handy and looks pretty neat 🙂
Looks cool but what I am really worried about is those legs. I think vibration will be an issue at some point.
Legs have two supports inside and get printed with horizontal layers. 3D prints behave somewhat like concrete. Prints can take lots of compression but cannot take much tension orthogonal to layers. In addition there are 2 M3x50 screws per leg to take extra horizontal or other forces. So no issues with these legs.
However, you are right as vibration is an issue indeed, not in term of force but in terms of noise. The initial design had the printer mounted directly with clamps to the enclosure. With 2mm polycarbonate panels attached and Y axis moving, this assembly did behave like a loudspeaker and vibration noise amplifier. I then mounted the printer inside the enclosure on soft rubber mats. That did work well. (Design of the new brackets is still work in progress. I'll upload it to the repo as soon as they are ready.)
Ok I see! Looking forward to the results!