The latest Gigabots come with side panels as a standard feature, but what about adding more panels to completely enclose the bot? This was something we had explored last year with our "Gigabox," seen below.
While this was just a quick mockup, it did validate several motivations for adding an enclosure to a 3D printer, especially one at the scale of Gigabot:
- Faster bed heating. Heat radiating off of the bed surface and into the ambient environment can prolong the time it takes to reach its set point. By enclosing the bot, we can avoid this heat loss (mostly).
- Passively heated ambient environment. As stated above, we mitigate heat loss from the heated bed by capturing it within the enclosure. This in turn gives us a nice and warm internal temperature, which many more functional plastics love!
- Massive quality improvement for functional materials. When using Gigabot, not only do your prints scale up, but the inherent material quirks do as well. While it's possible to get away with printing small ABS or polycarbonate (PC) parts without any enclosure, doing so with large parts that take advantage of Gigabot's build volume is virtually impossible. Warming up that build environment means less thermal shock and less part failures.
That being said, for some time now we have had Gigabox 2.0 in the works, which features considerably less cardboard. Here's a sneak peak, with much more to come in the near future!
Have any feedback, questions, or other comments? Please leave them in the comments below!