Open-Source Low-Cost Enclosure & Sled

Hi!
I built a Lowrider a few months ago and realized that the amount of dust that it releases is absurd (especially with MDF). While I am fixing the dust collection system, I decided to make a enclosure that prevents any sawdust from leaving. I did a few test cuts with this and found it extremely successful for keeping the dust confined to within the enclosure and the ground below the machine. As a high school student, my budget was quite limited for the project and I wanted to make it as cheap as possible, so I used Fusion 360 to model a enclosure that was 3D printed and used PVC pipes, PVC fittings, and plastic sheets (the ones typically used for painting). For about ~$75, I created this enclosure and I made it open-source!
If anyone is interested in remixing/adapting the design for their own CNC, go ahead! I’ve published .step, .stl, ,f3d, etc. to make it as easy as possible. Here is the thingiverse number… thing:4905685.

Let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback!
Thanks,
Vedansh

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HI,

What a great idea! I’m currently building a Primo and might consider something like this.
A cool addition could potentially be another PVC pipe that gets fixed to the bottom of the front flap of the plastic cover. This would allow you to neatly roll up the front cover.

Thanks for sharing!

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Looks really good and made from commodity parts. Thanks for sharing.

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Neat idea, do you have any concerns about fire?

Trapping a bunch of airborn dust in an enclosed space with a potential flame source would worry me. be sure you run your dust collector to keep the airborn dust down.

May also want to do a flame test on a bit of the plastic. It will definitely melt but hopefully not act as an accelerant.

Its one thing to have a small table fire and something else to have a fireball in your garage.

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Great idea. I could have used that during the MDF speed tests! I never considered it. I have seen countless sound dampening boxes that of course contain the mess but for me sound is not a huge concern. Getting MDF dust on 8 running printers is though. I might have to give this a shot. Thanks!

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Hi diff-arch,

That sounds like a great idea! I don’t think I have any PVC pipe left, but next time I stop by the hardware store, I’ll be sure to pick a pipe up!

Thanks for the suggestion and glad you like it!
Vedansh

Thank you!

Hi Michael,

Fire isn’t something I had considered, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I usually run a shopvac inside of the enclosure that, as you mentioned, is to keep the airborne dust to a minimum. I just looked into the material properties of the plastic that I am using (recycled polyethylene) and it seems to be relatively flame retardant (and won’t accelerate the fire). I agree, I don’t think a large fireball in the garage would be something anyone would want.

Given the fact that I did spark a drill bit (I went too deep and the bit rubbed against the steel collet), I will definitely look into adding more fire protection. Besides having a fire extinguisher handy for worst-case scenarios, is there anything else you would recommend?

Cheers,
Vedansh

Hi Ryan!

Thanks for all you have done for the community, this project wouldn’t have been possible without V1 Engineering. As a high school student, this project has really inspired me into pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, and I thank you for that. Your feedback means a lot to me. Let me know if you have any suggestions on the design.

Vedansh

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WOW, that is an amazing compliment. It is not an easy road but it has some amazing stops along the way. I did so many fun projects in college, and then after that it got even crazier. I got a piece of advice in my first jr. college semester for engineering. A retired engineer (rockets and watches were his specialty) told me school seems like you only need about 10% of what they teach you, but it makes the other 90% of the BS worth it! He was right I got frustrated a lot but it was 100% worth it.

I highly recommend it, stick around here and feel free to vent or share some school stories as you go. and there are some very smart and creative people here we can help with some projects if you get stuck…networking is a very large part of being successful. I got both my post college jobs by people recommending me.

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I can totally relate! Many of the cool opportunities that I have gotten (like my current summer internship) have been through networking. At my internship, most of what I do has nothing to do with what I have learned in school, mostly things that I have learned on my own. I’ll definitely ask for more help here!

Thanks again,
Vedansh

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Consider having a fire blanket on hand. Extinguishers make a huge mess. Not as big a mess as a runaway fire, but if you can smother it early with a blanket there’s much less cleanup.

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Very cool as a stop gap measure!!! Necessity is the mother of invention. School will definitely help in the long run and will earn you more money. I agree with others here that you will use maybe 10% of what you learn, but definitely worth it. :wink:

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Hi Tom,

I’ll look into that. Thanks!

Vedansh

I did basically the same thing with some scrap wood, but I didn’t put a top on it. It’s still surprisingly good at keeping the dust from getting all over the garage, though I’m sure it’s not as good as yours.

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I once made an enclosure out of sheets of painters plastic, packing tape, some staples, pieces of rope to tie it up when not in use and leftover PVC pipe to weigh down the bottom.

Advantages:

  • built in lights (came with the garage)
  • ample space for Z axis
  • Makes for a great Halloween decoration, especially when combined with props from Dexter

Disadvantages:

  • Pliers are needed to tear it down or change the location
  • Not very durable
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