Fully enclosed with custom UI

  • Hello,
    Here is a preview of my fully enclosed printer. I’m in the process of creating properly cut video but it appears more difficult than building the printer. I decided to publish these few shots before the entire construction becomes obsolete. Will update after I manage to complete the final video.

    In few words, after trying lots of ideas and experimenting with various scenarios for the controller I happily ended up with the Duet3D WiFi. Thanks to it I could finish the construction. Other key elements are E3D V6 , Titan, and IR sensor.. For the bed I used 500W silicon heater, 3mm aluminium plate and PrintBite. Steppers are 0.9 deg. Print area is around 240x355x295mm and the printer itself 410x510x600mm. I managed to design and create the mini display for basic controls. I call it SUIFD (simple UI for Duet). The printer is working as expected but I still need to tune it for even more perfection – get it working nicely with Cura.

    (Hopefully the images now show and the links work) - The colors of the UI are not closely represented by the video.

    Updated video


  • Moderator

    Wow, really nicely done.

  • Awesome job, in the middle of doing something very similar, I'm using 3mm dibond sheets, is that what you've used for the opaque areas? (Edit: I see you've actually painted or vinyled the clear part, nice solution!) Would love to see a tutorial style writeup or video or even just source of the interface between the esp and duet as I'm looking to implement coloured status cues in the LED strips I'm using for internal illumination.

  • Amazing! Great job. Do you plan to share the mini display schematics/code?

  • Thank you for the kind words. Apart from reliability and print quality, I did want it to look good. My little office/lab is very small so the printer is all the time in my sight 😉

    Yes, the walls were covered with vinyl. I thought it was the easiest solution giving acceptable results. However, it wasn't as easy as I thought to lay it without wrinkles. The walls are made of 4mm acrylic. The inside covers are hot-bent from 1mm thick "plastic glass" out of large, cheap picture frames (Wilko in UK)

    As for the code/schematics - of course I'm here to share. I will do that but first need to review it and clean to make it a little more "public" 😉 The building process took me so long, that the final stages were killing me. I didn't pay too much attention and was focused mainly to get it finally done. It's simple but works and does what I needed.

  • Really nice!

  • And the really last thing was checking the voltage before connecting the plug for the water cooling pump. Probe slipped, shorted 24V to 5V pin and boom! Duet fried! None in stock! Ehh… 😞

  • Moderator


  • If it makes you feel any better, a week or so ago I shorted a PanelDue 7i during a firmware update and fried the board, waiting for the last smd to attempt a repair, I did a good job it though, won't do something like that again…

  • I replaced the 3.3V regulator just to find out the SAM, WiFi and U11 are fried. I may try to fix it at some point but definitely not now. I've been building this printer for so long that I can't spend any more time on it. I'm tired. Have to order a new board.

    What makes me really furious is that it was really last step and I was being overcautious. Decided to replace the E3D V6 fan with water cooling. Have the mod prototyped, built, mounted, checked, double checked - last wire to connect. But hey, better check if polarity is OK. Unfortunately the Fan1 pin is in line with 5V pin. Very expensive slip of the probe.

  • administrators

    That is an awesome looking printer! As others have already said the enclosure looks super professional. I am really sorry about the slip of the probe and shorting 😞

    It will be very cool to see your designs, particularly the custom UI which looks like it is a a "wifi touchscreen"? that is is on the network with the Duet?

  • Shit luck, I keep a few female to male single dupont leads around for just that reason, didn't stop me shorting the board against a brass standoff though, lapse of concentration, brain fart > zzzt

  • Thank you, I'm really glad you like it. As soon as I get the new board I'll complete the video edit and publish.

    The UI is on the serial interface. I used the ESP8266 because it's got very fast library for the LCD and plenty of space on internal flash for UI graphic files. It's also easier to update its firmware on WiFi - which is useful when all is enclosed. Unfortunately it doesn't use checksum yet - but will 🙂

  • Really nice. I think you should have a transparent cover over the Duet to protect from shorts if liquid, washers or screws fall down. Open electronics and FOD is a bad mix.

  • I can't tell from pic, but the SSR and power supply should also have a shield over any exposed wiring if its connected to AC. This is more to prevent electrocution.

  • @BikingViking:

    […] brain fart > zzzt

    haha 😄

    @ShadowX - sure, good points. The whole bottom part is covered and under normal use eventual spills/drops won't reach electronics. Frame is grounded and the "water path" is kept outside. More photos will follow.

  • administrators

    aha! so you are connecting the ESP to the PanelDue header?

  • @T3P3Tony:

    aha! so you are connecting the ESP to the PanelDue header?

    Yes, that's correct.
    I'm using a few libraries to get the JSON data, handle the screen, UI jpg files and so on, and just sending the G-code commands back to it. So it really is micro-PanelDue (read: a poor substitute). The were two reasons I made it: I wanted to give the printer my personal touch, and I didn't have much space for the original PanelDue.

  • Nice lcd setup. I need one of that

  • Any news about mini-display files and code? I would love to build one...

  • @adigital said in Fully enclosed with custom UI:

    Yes, the walls were covered with vinyl. I thought it was the easiest solution giving acceptable results. However, it wasn't as easy as I thought to lay it without wrinkles.

    I've had great success putting vinyl on aluminum by spraying plenty of water on both the aluminum and the sticky side of the vinyl. Very SMALL amount of dish soap in the water, just enough to break the surface tension. And then squeegee, squeegee, squeegee!!

    Works great.

    In fact, this instrument panel is "shelf paper" vinyl over aluminum, applied before it was CNC cut.

    0_1531233960040_IMG_1388S.jpg 0_1531234240222_IMG_1264c.jpg

  • @fma said in Fully enclosed with custom UI:

    Any news about mini-display files and code? I would love to build one...

    Also very interested in the small display!

  • Apologies I was inactive for so long. Was busy with something else. I didn't even update the Duet firmware and I'm still on 1.xx.

    After planning on publishing more detailed video/review of the printer I failed to do so. I eventually gave up and today published a "work in progress" version I created some time ago. Just came here to post a link and found the posts. Really sorry.

    I'll do my best to dig up all I've got for the UI display and create the documentation. It's quite simple design.

    The video if anyone interested:

  • Looks like the cooling for the Duet moves the majority of the air on the top of the board, I think recall reading cooling should be on the bottom of the board for the stepper drivers at least? But if you're not running high currents then it probably wont matter.

  • @adigital Your Printer is nothing short of "STUNNING"!
    Your video is also actually really well done!

Log in to reply