Prusa Mini 3D printer and enclosure Project

Getting my Prusa Mini 3D print­er IKEA Lack enclo­sure set­up, and mak­ing some minor mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the print­er.

I had ordered my Prusa Mini 3D print­er in ear­ly November 2019 and was not expect­ing for it to arrive before February 2020. That gave me some time to plan out where I want­ed to sta­tion the new print­er when it arrived. Due to some pro­duc­tion issues at the fac­to­ry and then the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic I final­ly received the print­er mid April 2020.

I had already ordered three IKEA Lack tables for my print­er enclo­sure and 3D print­ed 17 indi­vid­ual parts at my local Makerspace. Most of the enclo­sure parts were print­ed on a Prusa I3 MK3S using orange Prusament PETG fil­i­ment.
After some assem­bly and mak­ing sure every­thing went togeth­er prop­er­ly I ordered some pre-cut clear acrylic pan­els for the sides from Printed Solid, which end­ed up being less expen­sive even with ship­ping than what I could find local­ly.
I used the enclo­sure design for the orig­i­nal V1 enclo­sure, as I did not need the extra height afford­ed by the V2 design for units with the MMU2S attach­ment on top.

Full web based remote con­trol & mon­i­tor­ing with OctoPrint Credit: OctoPrint.org

After much research I knew that I want­ed to set­up an OctoPrint serv­er using a Raspberry Pi mod­el 3 B+ for remote mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol.
Setup was fair­ly easy using OctoPi, which is a SD card image based on Raspbian Linux for the Raspberry Pi.
Using my new 3D print­er, I print­ed an enclo­sure using red PETG fil­a­ment for the Raspberry Pi board which worked great.

3D print­ed enclo­sure for Raspberry Pi mod­el 3 B+
Raspberry Pi based OctoPrint serv­er and fil­a­ment feed assem­bly with rollers

I decid­ed on feed­ing the fil­a­ment to the print­er from the table locat­ed below the print­er, and need­ed a way to get it up thru the table with the least amount of drag. I found a project on Thingiverse.com, named “Filament Guide for IKEA LACK Table (with roller guides)” which was well designed and had a ver­sion that uti­lized a 4mm PTFE tube to reduce fric­tion even fur­ther. So far it has been a great addi­tion to my set­up.

Logitech C500 web­cam for OctoPrint serv­er, on 3D print­ed stand

I had an old Logitech C500 web­cam which works with the OctoPrint serv­er for mon­i­tor­ing the print, and for mak­ing time-lapse videos of the print process. I fount anoth­er use­ful project on Thingiverse.com, a stand for the Logitech S5500 eye­ball cam­era which uti­lizes the same attach­ment pin as the C500 cam­era. I print­ed this part using Prusament “Galaxy Black” PLA fil­a­ment. I did end up using a brim when print­ing this as it is very nar­row and tall.

Noctua 5 volt fan and heatsink for Z‑axis step­per motor cool­ing

I had noticed that the Z‑axis step­per motor was run­ning hot­ter than the rest of the motors on the Prusa Mini while print­ing some PETG parts with the doors part­ly closed. This most like­ly would not be an issue print­ing in free air, out­side of an enclo­sure.
It was­n’t extreme­ly hot, but out of an abun­dance of cau­tion, I added a 40mm heatsink to the top of the step­per motor. The heatsink was attached using a 3M 35 X 35mm 8810 ther­mal pad with adhe­sive on both sides.
This made a small dif­fer­ence in tem­per­a­ture, but it was still warmer than the rest of the motors.
I then added a Noctua NF-A40x10 5V fan to the top of the heatsink blow­ing down into the heatsink fins. For pow­er I plugged the fan into the unused fil­a­ment sen­sor con­nec­tor on the Mini’s Buddy board 3 pin con­nec­tor J9, using pins 1 (5v) and 3 (Gnd). The fan uses less than 50 mA at 5 volts and keeps the Z‑axis motor much cool­er than the oth­er motors now.

Bottom of Prusa Mini heat­ed print bed with mag­nets and tem­per­a­ture sens­ing ther­mis­tor

My next project was to insu­late the bot­tom of the heat­ed print bed.
I has some extra roVa Flex Plus aero­gel insu­la­tion tape left over from a pre­vi­ous project, and thought that this would be the per­fect appli­ca­tion for this mate­r­i­al. The exist­ing heat­ed bed worked fine as is, and the only ben­e­fit to me would be a small sav­ings in pow­er usage.
The bot­tom of the bed is most­ly flat with areas that project out such as the mag­nets, ther­mis­tor and attach­ing cable.

roVa Flex Plus aero­gel insu­la­tion with cutouts for stand­offs and ther­mis­tor

I cut out areas for the attach­ment stand­offs and thick­er parts of the ther­mis­tor assem­bly using a sharp exac­to knife, then made a test fit on the car­riage stand­offs then some small adjust­ments before remov­ing the pro­tec­tive film and apply­ing the sticky side of the sheet to the bot­tom of the bed.

roVa Flex Plus aero­gel insu­la­tion applied to bot­tom of the Prusa Mini heat­ed bed

The 0.04″ thick tape con­formed well around the mag­nets and small­er ther­mis­tor leads and I then added an addi­tion­al patch over the ther­mis­tor bead cutout and cable. I only had enough mate­r­i­al for a sin­gle lay­er, but that should be enough for my needs.

Modified insu­lat­ed heat­ed bed reat­tached to car­riage assem­bly

After reat­tach­ing the heat­ed bed to the car­riage assem­bly I per­formed a quick test using my Fluke 62 IR-ther­mome­ter. With the bed heat­ed to 60 °C, I mea­sured an aver­age tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ence of 10 °C between the top and bot­tom of the bed with the PEI spring steel sheet installed. I was impressed by the per­for­mance of this thin 0.04″ (1mm) mate­r­i­al and con­sid­er it worth the effort.

Control switch pan­el with LED light and small fan mount­ed to the inside top of enclo­sure

My next mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the enclo­sure was adding a small fan and LED strip light. They are both pow­ered from an exter­nal 12 volt sup­ply thru a small con­trol pan­el with round rock­er switch­es.

Prusa Mini enclo­sure with top Lack table removed

So far I am real­ly enjoy­ing the Prusa Mini and still learn­ing about it’s capa­bil­i­ties. It is a great entry class 3D print­er that is per­fect for my usage.
I have already 3D print­ed some parts for an upcom­ing elec­tron­ics project this sum­mer.

Link to the Prusa Research “Mini” web­site

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