Temperature control in the N2(+) enclosure

Topics around mechanical design, controller and electronics. Mods & hacks welcome.
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:02 pm

Temperature control in the N2(+) enclosure

Postby zemlin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:00 am

My next mod project is to add heating/cooling to the N2(+) printer enclosure. I'll keep this thread going as a running log of the project.
My printers live in the garage. It's attached to the house which tempers the thermal fluctuations, but between winter and summer the temperature in there can go from 40°F to 85°F (~5°C - 30°C). I've been monitoring the temperature inside my N2+ near the build platform and have seen temps a little above 40C even in cooler weather, so it's not going to take much to boost it up to 45° or 50°C. My bigger concern for now is as the temps in the garage go up in the summer, the inside of the enclosure could go much hotter if the ambient is up by 20°C or more.

My first printer, a Makergear M2, was not enclosed at all. When I moved it into the garage I knew I needed to build an enclosure for it. My experience with the evolution of that enclosure is a good basis for modding the Raise printers.

Here's the kit I have lined up. Not pictured is a 6" square of .03" stainless steel which will be a heat shield.

There will be (5) 80mm fans involved. Two will be to keep the air inside circulating. One will blow on the 200W ceramic heater. The last two will be mounted in the lid and exhaust when cooling is required. Since the machines are in the garage, I'm not too concerned about noise added by the 5 fans, although these are pretty quiet. I used the same fans in my M2 enclosure.

The temperature controller is a $16 unit from Amazon that I've used with good success on my original enclosure. This will be mounted in the plastic panel right above the touch screen.

the small black blob next to the fan guards in the photo above is a light socket for the heater (the large black blob).

I'll be modding the N2 first because it's a lot easier to handle than the N2+. I'll be working on it when I have time. Once it is finished and proven I'll move the N2+ to the floor and spend a Saturday getting everything installed.

In addition to photos, I'll be making some tools and printing some parts. I'll post files for those here as well.

I have a Dremel with a router base. I'll use that with an 1/8" endmill and 3D printed templates to make the cutouts for the fans and controller.

That's all for now. Stay tuned.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:47 pm

Re: Temperature control in the N2(+) enclosure

Postby jdonze » Wed May 16, 2018 9:28 am

You or others might gain some inspiration on what I have done on my N2, very similar to what you are planning. I still have to find the time to post all the mods I have done though. As for the heating build chamber part:
I used a computer fan behind a 300W heating element I got from ebay:


0 (1).jpg

I printed an ABS bracket to hold everything together. Because I did not want to cut a hole in the enclosure, I printed a new panel with transparent PLA for the control unit. I did not add any cooling fans, that would require a pretty big hole in the enclosure from which the hot air can escape, even with the fans off.
With this setup it takes about 15 minutes for the enclosure to warm up to 60 degrees C. 70C is really the max temperature I can get the enclosure, the heating element is then on continuously. The enclosure is not nearly airtight and poorly isolated, when I turn the heating element off I see a temperature drop from 60 to 50 degrees in just one or two minutes. To keep the temperature consistent there is no need for cooling fans extracting the hot air out of the chamber. I usually see a deviation of 2-3 degrees above and below the setpoint.

With temperatures above 65C a layer shift would sometimes occur on longer prints. I have added an airduct on the side to give the drivers more cold air and that seemed to fix the issue.

Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:02 pm

Re: Temperature control in the N2(+) enclosure

Postby zemlin » Thu May 17, 2018 2:03 pm

Looks good. I have printed a lot of the parts I need, but haven't had time to execute yet. I have a heat-trap concept I use for external holes where the inlet and outlet are both below the hole. This means any hot air going into the duct remains in the high spot and limits any convection through the duct - basically the same as a trap in a sink, but upside down so hot-air won't pass through freely.

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