This week's post will be a more in-depth look at our considerations for making a better user experience for the enclosure. You can read up on my previous posts about our motivations for the enclosure and the design overview, as well.
Getting a handle on things:
The user should easily perform the panel folding or removal (more on that later) by using the handles attached to them. There are many types of handles, but our chosen designs afforded specific actions about how the handles should be, well, handled. One type should be grabbed while the other should be pulled.
As an example, the hood side panels should be pulled off, so the type of handle should afford this action.
As our machinist, Steve, will tell you, magnets are incredibly useful as a contactless form of fastening or work holding (and they're really fun!). All sections of the enclosure need to be securely held onto the Gigabot frame, but some areas require frequent access by the user. Magnetic fastening allows for this without making the process too tedious or slow.
The front panels, hood panels, and hood side panels all fasten to the frame using magnets.
The enclosure will always need to be opened when the user needs to remove a print or perform some other action within the build volume. The most typical direction from which to approach this is the front (the side with the Gigabot nameplate), and so the front panels and the hood are made to fold away to provide access through this area.
Front panel access
Hood panel access
When performing filament changes, hot end maintenance, etc. sometimes it is easier to access the work from the side as opposed to the front, as mentioned above. To allow for this, we have incorporated the magnetic fastening on the hood side panels as well, making them completely removable by simply pulling them off (recall the previous points about types of handles!).
Hood side panel access
Designing accessibility into the enclosure maintains ease in its serviceability, operation, and other forms of general use.
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