Should I Enclose My 3D Printer?

Enclosure for a 3d printer

There are two different types of 3D printers available in the market. Some 3D printers are open, and the others are closed. The closed ones come with either an external enclosure or an integrated enclosure. The question is whether these enclosures are essential for your 3D printer. I will address this question that so many 3D printer users must have in their minds.

Yes, you can keep your 3D printer inside an enclosure if you have space and the means to do so. The enclosure protects you from the airborne particles that the 3D printer emits during the printing process. It also offers you and your family members safety and reduces noise during the printing process. The enclosure also creates a barrier that saves the 3D printer from temperature fluctuations and the onslaught of sudden drafts. As a result, the enclosure enhances the choices of printing material that you can use successfully in your 3D printer.

Is An Enclosure a Necessity? 

As we have mentioned above, it is a good practice to keep your 3D printer inside of an enclosure. But, it is not necessary to do so.

So, if you are installing an enclosure, you need to know how useful it can be. While the absence of the enclosure would not necessarily put you in a precarious situation, its presence will make your life a little bit easier. 

However, whether you need an enclosure depends entirely on the setup of your machine. If you want to have easy access to the device, don’t use an enclosure. Also, if you do not have much space in your home, using a 3D printer without any enclosure makes sense as they do take up a bit more room than the 3d printer itself. 

On the other hand, if you do not have any space-related issues, there is no harm using an enclosure. Furthermore, the enclosure will effectively reduce the noise of the 3D printer and save you from warping problems. All in all, the enclosure is a tool that helps you to experience a successful 3D printing journey.

Types of Enclosure

There are a couple of enclosure options available on the market. You can choose any one of them depending on your overall goals. For example, if you want to print with ABS filaments and avoid the residual heat generated from the printer nozzle, an enclosure will help you. 

A lot of 3D printer hobbyists do not even purchase the commercially available enclosures. They, instead, create enclosures for their 3D printers on their own and set them around the printer. However, you do not need to be as adventurous when it comes to your 3D printer. You can talk to the enclosure manufacturing companies to check out the benefits offered by the enclosure and choose the one that fits your requirement perfectly.

There are three types of enclosures available in the market. They are:

  • enclosures integrated with your 3D printer, 
  • professional ready-to-purchase enclosures, 
  • DIY enclosures. 

You can choose an enclosure depending on your printing requirement.

Benefits of Using an Enclosure

There are some obvious benefits that you can reap the rewards from using an enclosure.

  • An adequately built enclosure helps trap the toxic fumes or limit the emission into your room. 
  • The enclosure also protects your printer from temperature fluctuations and drafts. 
  • It effectively keeps the kids and your pets away from the hot components and the printer’s moving parts. 
  • The enclosure also protects your 3D printer from dust.

Do you need an enclosure if you use ABS filament?

Even though the PLA filament is one of the most environmentally friendly options out there, the ABS filament is still the most used one, thanks to its durability. The problem is, ABS filament is very prone to warping. Therefore, this element needs a higher level of printing temperature and a higher temperature printing bed. 

The enclosure helps enormously in this matter. It successfully traps the hot air that the printer generates during the printing process and makes sure that your ABS prints finish perfectly. 

Cooling also becomes essential when the temperature keeps on fluctuating. At this time, the enclosure has to maintain the level of temperature during the printing process. So, it can be said that the enclosures should be used while printing with ABS filaments. If you use the enclosure, you will surely get prints of higher quality.

Does an enclosure enhance the printing quality?

You have already understood that your 3D printer does not actually need an enclosure to perform seamlessly. But, the question is whether you get a better print if you use an enclosure. 

We know ABS filament prints can enhance the quality if in the enclosure as the temperature needs to be a lot higher than other filaments and not to fluctuate or could cause warping.

But what about the PLA ones? Even though PLA filaments do not warp as much as the ABS ones, you cannot overlook the chance of warping. If the draft is strong enough, the corners of the PLA print will start warping. For this reason, you should use an enclosure. 

An enclosure is one of the best ways to enhance your print quality irrespective of the 3D printing material. However, keep in mind that PLA prints require a certain level of cooling to set correctly. 

So, if you have your 3D printer inside an enclosure, it can negatively affect your print quality. This situation will be less likely to occur if you use good quality fans inside the enclosure.

To bring it all together, the buying decision of a 3D printer enclosure depends entirely on you. If you have enough space in your home, and if you have the means, you can buy an enclosure for your 3D printer. As there are many benefits of having an enclosure, there is no harm in getting one if you have the means. 

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