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This project is a spreadsheet to help design enclosures for 3D printers.

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Problem
Even PLA gives off a plastic smell when printing. The plan was to run the printer in an unheated garage to keep the smell out of the house. If the environment is too cool the printing has a variety of problems. The ideal solution would be to fabricate an insulated enclosure so that the print bed heater and hot end would also keep the air in the enclosure within acceptable printing temperatures. Enclosure temperature becomes more important when using plastics at higher temperatures and less forgiving than PLA.

Solution
A spreadsheet was produced to predict the steady steady state temperature rise in the enclosure given the dimensions, insulation and energy dumped into the volume.

Details.

text - 15.56 kB - 04/05/2020 at 17:15

Enclosure Heat Transfer.ods

This is the spreadsheet for enclosure design.

spreadsheet - 16.25 kB - 04/05/2020 at 17:13

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Discussions

Alan Campbell wrote 04/06/2020 at 21:40 point

A more energy efficient way to design a temperature controlled enclosure would be to use the spreadsheet to design insulation for the maximum delta T you would ever want. Then servo fan speed to use outside air to cool the inside of the enclosure to the set point temperature. A U-shaped pipe can act as a thermal block when the fan is off.

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Alan Campbell wrote 04/06/2020 at 19:30 point

Correct , the enclosure will rise to 23 C and then maintain that delta T as the room temperature slowly changes. The spreadsheet could help design an enclosure with a servoed heater. The insulation provides the minimum delta T and the heater the rest of the delta T and servos to the set point. The spreadsheet could also be used to decide how big of a heater one would need.

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Dan Maloney wrote 04/06/2020 at 18:49 point

So does this mean that the enclosure will rise 23C above whatever the exterior temperature is? And then just level off and fluctuate as the exterior temperature changes?

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