What are Enclosed 3d printers?
An enclosed 3D printer is a type of 3D printer that has a physical housing or casing around its print area, effectively creating a controlled environment for the printing process. This enclosure often takes the form of walls, a roof, and a door or removable panel that fully or mostly surrounds the build plate and the moving parts of the printer.
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Key characteristics and benefits of enclosed 3D printers:
- Controlled Environment: The enclosure helps maintain a consistent temperature within the printing space, minimizing the effects of external temperature fluctuations and drafts.
- Safety and Protection: The closed structure offers safety benefits by reducing the risk of users accidentally coming into contact with hot or moving parts. It also protects the print from external contaminants like dust.
- Reduced Emissions: Enclosed printers can help contain potentially harmful fumes and particulates, especially when printing with materials like ABS. Some enclosed printers also incorporate filtration systems to further reduce these emissions.
- Improved Print Quality: By controlling the environment, enclosed 3D printers can reduce issues like warping or splitting that can be caused by uneven cooling, especially when using certain materials.
- Noise Reduction: The enclosure can also act as a noise barrier, dampening the sound generated during the printing process, making it less disruptive in shared or quiet environments.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Enclosed printers often have a sleek, professional look, making them more suitable for office settings or schools.
- Broad Material Compatibility: Due to the controlled environment, enclosed printers can more reliably print with a wider range of materials, some of which might be more sensitive to temperature variations.
However, enclosed printers might not be ideal for all users or applications. They can sometimes be more expensive, and the enclosed environment might lead to overheating issues if not properly ventilated. It’s essential to consider these factors, along with the benefits, when deciding on the right type of 3D printer for your needs.
The Advantages of an Enclosed 3D Printer
3D printing is a revolutionary technology that’s made a significant impact on industries ranging from healthcare to fashion. Among the various types of 3D printers, enclosed models have gained popularity due to their numerous advantages. Here’s a look into why you might consider opting for an enclosed 3D printer for your next project.
Safety First: Reducing Exposure to Harmful Emissions
- Filtering Out Particles: Enclosed printers are designed to ensure that potentially harmful particles and fumes are confined, making them safer for use in less ventilated areas.
- Protection from Moving Parts: The enclosure prevents accidental contact with the moving parts of the printer, reducing the risk of injury.
Improved Print Quality with Enclosed Printers
- Consistent Temperature: Enclosed printers maintain a consistent internal temperature. This reduces the chances of the printed material warping due to sudden temperature fluctuations, ensuring more accurate prints.
- Protection from External Factors: Dust and debris can adversely affect the quality of a print. Enclosures protect the ongoing print from such external contaminants.
Enhanced Materials Compatibility
- Printing with Advanced Materials: Certain materials require a stable and specific temperature to print correctly. Enclosed printers can better support materials like ABS, nylon, and polycarbonate.
- Less Material Warping: Materials prone to warping benefit from the consistent environment of enclosed printers, producing smoother and more reliable results.
Noise Reduction for a Quieter Operation
- Muffled Sound: Enclosed 3D printers often operate more quietly than their open counterparts, as the enclosure helps to dampen and absorb some of the mechanical noise.
Aesthetic and Professional Appeal
- Clean Look: Enclosed printers tend to look sleeker and more professional, making them more suitable for office environments or public spaces.
- Protection from UV Light: If placed near windows or in brightly lit areas, the enclosure can also protect prints from potential discoloration or degradation due to UV light exposure.
Considering Potential Drawbacks
While enclosed 3D printers offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to also consider potential drawbacks:
- Heat Buildup: Enclosed printers can sometimes get quite hot, potentially affecting print quality if not managed correctly.
- Price: Typically, enclosed printers might be a tad pricier than open models due to the additional materials and design considerations.
Best Enclosed 3D printers in town
Here are five highly regarded enclosed 3D printers in 2023
1. Ultimaker S3 and S5:
- Features: Both models are known for their precision, dual extrusion capabilities, and large build volumes (especially the S5). The Ultimaker printers also come with advanced features like filament flow sensors and a touchscreen interface.
- Materials: Compatible with a wide range of materials.
2. Dremel Digilab 3D45:
- Features: Aimed at education and hobbyists, this printer offers reliable performance, a touchscreen interface, a built-in HD camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Materials: Compatible with PLA, nylon, PETG, and eco-ABS.
3. MakerBot Replicator+ and Method:
- Features: The Replicator+ is designed for educational and home use, while the Method targets professionals with higher precision and a heated chamber. Both offer a smart extruder, onboard camera, and connectivity options.
- Materials: Wide material compatibility, especially with the Method that can work with specialized materials.
4. FlashForge Creator Pro:
- Features: A more affordable dual-extruder printer with a sturdy metal frame and an optimized build platform for better adhesion and easier removal.
- Materials: Works with PLA, ABS, and other specialty filaments.
5. QIDI Tech X-Pro:
- Features: This is another budget-friendly dual-extruder printer with good build quality. It comes with a touchscreen interface and a turbofan for better cooling.
- Materials: Compatible with PLA, ABS, and TPU.
When looking for the “best” enclosed 3D printer in your town or area, it’s essential to consider factors like budget, intended use (professional, educational, hobbyist), material compatibility, and other specific features you may need. It would be wise to check the latest reviews, visit local retailers or makerspaces, or consult online 3D printing communities to get the most up-to-date recommendations.
Enclosed 3D printers offer a suite of advantages that can make them a valuable addition to both professional settings and hobbyist workshops. While considering an enclosed model, always weigh the benefits against potential drawbacks and assess your specific requirements to make an informed choice.
About the Author:
Manny Acharya is the co-founder of Artmellows. Your go-to place for Design, Digital Art, Digital sculpting, Photography, Design Tools and gears Info, and Product Reviews. Manny is a Digital Artist, 3D Sculpt Designer, Ardent Photography, Drone flying Enthusiast, and tech Lover. He supercharges Digital Art and design by crafting memorable 3D sculptures & 2D Design and art. Learn more About Manny: