3D printer enclosure from broken dishwasher

Do not attempt without supervision of an adult with knowledge about high voltage safety and metal working. I got injured 13 times during this project.


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The tall pyramid design of the spool holder is inspired by Daft Punk's Technologic. With a spool of black filament it looks like a space helmet.


Use at your own risk as a way to reuse metal and save big money, or see it as an example of stupid shit you should never try. I'm not a licensed electrician and learned by getting shocks, burns and cuts. Even people working with electricity will eventually burn their house down by simply forgetting something trivial. A metal enclosure cannot burn like wood, but has an increased risk of shortening a cable.

  • Tape over any sharp or metal surface where a cable might come in contact.
  • Make sure that the power cable is folded outside of the printer. Otherwise it may be scratched by the Z axis or even melted against the extruder.
  • Do not leave the machine unattended! Even a 12 volt light can cause a fire if shorted directly and it won't draw enough amps to blow a fuse. Even if steel cannot burn, the shortened cable might melt and trigger a chain reaction. Use a power coord with a power switch or build a system for automatic shut-down.
  • Do not use any burnable material inside or outside the chamber.
  • Make sure that each electric wire is well protected against metal surfaces, sharp edges and high temperatures.
  • No not pull out the printer without supporting its weight. A dishmachine without its waterpump doesn't weight so much and may tip over you!
  • Metal edges inside a dish machine can be razor sharp! Do not touch without gloves.
  • Make sure that the metal case is grounded properly. Even if the electric cable is whole, friction can build up a static charge and possibly damage electronics in the printer. I got a quite painful discharge from just the mechanical friction.
  • Use multiple 12 volt fans to cool the chamber by sucking air out through coal filters in the biggest hole. Coal filters for vacuum filters would require thousands of watts and risk blowing up the engine, so less effective filters for kitchen fans might be the safest tradeoff between power safety and somewhat filtering away plastic particles. The passive inflow of air should use smaller holes to create a negative pressure where unfiltered toxic air won't escape by mistake. There should be enough suction to hold a piece of paper hanging when the fans hold negative pressure. Use an additional air cleaner in the room or lead the dirty air outside.
  • Try not to enter the room during the print of toxic plastics. Use a $10 wifi camera to monitor the progress inside the chamber from a distance. The reflective surfaces may disrupt auto exposure, so focus on the build plate.
  • You won't have to throttle the fans, just maximize cooling in any way you can and it will still get up to 30 degrees celcius.
  • Your printer's heatsinks will need thermal paste to handle this ambient temperature without jamming constantly.
  • Do not pull in the power cable directly against metal! The cable holder should be printed in two sets and screwed together on both sides of a hole using eight M5 nuts and bolts. Scale the model a bit if needed to fit the existing holes.
  • Let the filament be fed from the printed spool holder on top of the chamber. Dish machines usually have a small hole at the top center, which was used to mount the spinner and will now be your hole for feeding filament.
  • Use a digital thermometer to check if temperature rises above 30 degrees celcius. I built mine with power sockets for fans and light.
  • Don't do all this if you can afford a well built enclosed 3D printer, which already have all these features with more safety.

Materials and methods

The cable holder should idealy be printed with a temperature resistant and isolating material. Make sure that screws are tight before turning on the power.

The spool holder can use any cheap filament that you don't like and can waste a lot of. It doesn't matter if it warps a bit. Use a strong stick with low friction. I used a glass rod, which is probably a bad idea if it breaks, but I had some left from my dangerous laser experiments.



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06e18518f864637418e189b934bfa64b?default=blank&size=40BoneGnawler published this design ago