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  1. #1

    Building a heated and ABS-fume-safe enclosure

    Hello guys! I am currently planing a heated and ABS-fume-safe enclosure for my new 3D Printer. But first I have some questions to ask.
    Let's start with the heater. I did some research and found out that there isn't an actually simple solution for heating your 3D printer. There are several options: Heat bulbs, heat guns, hairdryers, PTC-heating elements,... After looking at these options I figured the PTC heating elements would be suitable for my application. The chamber should reach up to 70°C in order to achieve good quality ABS prints. However I have never seen PTC heating elemts in action. Does anyone have experience with this typ of heaters? Some input would be much appreciated. How do you heat your enclosures?
    Secondly I've read a lot about the toxic fumes which are released during printing. Therefore I what do use a HEPA and a activated coal filter. Whats your opinion about it? Is it overkill? Does it actually help?

    Looking forward to your opinions about my questions!
    Happy printing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    For starters, a cheap way to make a decent heater would be nichrome wire, or just buy some cheap heating unit that you can control from the control board or has its own temperature conroller.

    From what I understand, HEPA filters are physical particle filters, and don't help with toxins specifically. Activated charcoal is a chemical filter and can actually neutralize toxins. I think the best solution would just be a vent to the outside or good ventilation. I can't say whether either HEPA or charcoal filters are appropriate for what comes out of a 3D printer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Typically, if you can prevent drafts with an enclosure, and your heated bed gives off some heat, that will be plenty to get the insides up to a decent temp. Yes professional 3D printers do have extra heaters, but I don't recommend that, you will cause a fire hazard, and you will cut the life of components that need to be inside. 3D printers that use the bed as a heat source usually have fans that turn on when temps get too hot.

    For filters, I use a laser particle counter, and have no problem with a hepa filter removing particles. Some use a carbon filter to remove the smell as well. The problem with a hepa filter is they take a pretty strong fan to move air through them. But enclosure, fan and filters are pretty common with many printers today. I would use the same filters they do, since they have already been proven.

  4. #4
    Other wattages/voltages available. It has screw points for a cheap electronics case fan too. Blow air thru and you don't need to worry about the fan being plastic.
    I have one of these and it works really well. Admittedly, it is hooked up to a PID controller cuz my work makes them, but a thermostat should work ok.
    Last edited by Boscolio; 02-12-2018 at 09:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    North Carolina
    If you are not doing a lot of printing then filtering isn't an issue, just use common sense and provide fresh air to the room. Still I wouldn't use the printer in a room with a child or pets and not in one where there isn't adequate ventilation. The fumes that ABS produces are more like a gas not a particle. Charcoal will remove the smell but charcoal doesn't last forever and just because the smell is gone it doesn't mean you have removed the toxin.

    If you are doing a lot of ABS printing then vent the printer to outside. You can put together a vent using dryer vent parts and install it in an existing window, add some dryer vent pipe, then just add a standard 120mm pc fan and you are set. The dryer vent closes to the outside when not in use . No filtering and it is quiet.

  6. #6
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    You could try an incubator heater; they keep things warm but not hot:

  7. #7
    In warm weather months I print ABS in the garage instead of my small, poorly ventilated work room. In cold weather months I restrict my printing at home to PLA and other "clean" filaments.

  8. #8

    Toxic fumes on 3D printer

    This is an evolving area, so venting outside is probably the safest option. Other people have pointed out that the two issues are 1) particulate matter addressed by the HEPA filter 2) volatile organic chemical fumes addressed by the active charcoal filter. Make sure you have both if you are running ABS or anything higher temperature.

    You might check out the UL safety report. Look for the title "Managing Safety in Additive Manufacturing Facilities"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    If you insulated your chamber well, the heated bed is all the heater you may need. My chamber for my CR-10S stays between 45 and 50C with the bed temp set at 100C.But I like to reduce all variables so I use an Inkbird temp controller which I hook up to a hair dryer (warm) and a small vent fan (cool), this maintains the temperature within a few degrees no matter what the room temp (it's an unheated shop).

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    with abs - I'd simply say use something else. It's not worth the hassle.
    But with some of the newer industrial materials that need very high temps then filtering would be a good idea.

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