Planning to print your own enclosure for esk8?
Worrying about joints and general 3d printing finishing?
Here are some ideas for you.
Why it’s a good thing?
Like in all 3d printing applications, you can customize everything, make space for insides, integrate any opening, and iterate until you're happy.
Basically, making it your own.
It’s also a full way DIY, which is never a bad thing.
What about the size?
If your printer can make full-sized enclosures, I officially envy you.
For the rests of us, we print in sections.
With sections, the challenge is the joints, that will be structural and still look nice.
This can take time and printing trials, but there's a simpler way.
As long as you don't mind relative ugliness on one side.
I can live with moderate mess inside the enclosure, so this is a perfect opportunity to show the process.
(**This method also works for fixing and reinforcing broken plastic parts)
My enclosure is for single motor Jet Spud, holds 10s3p battery, Focbox, BMS, wiring and other small stuff. It includes opening for loop key, charging port, voltage screen and motor leads.
It is a single stack design and has enough room for all the wiring and padding.
I made it in Fusion 360, it's straight cut into 4 pieces. The files can be found here.
All the pieces are printed.
The following is the process I used to make super cool looking enclosure.
Step 1 - Glue all the pieces together
Attach all the pieces together with super glue.
It's kinda long process, lot's of patience.
(Let's face it, 3 sec setting time for crazy glue is bs...)
Align the pieces as best as you can.
Step 2 - find your best wipes in the house
Locate the the best wet wipes you have in the house, and dry a couple of them (just set them aside for a day).
You need the strong-fibery kind. Baby wipes work as well, just use the ones which you can’t tear easily.
Take your dried wipes and cut strips.
Lightly sand the joints on the inside. Apply the strips along the joints and soak with super glue.
Allow to dry, the bond is surprisingly strong with this method.
Ugly, yes, but strong.
Step 3 - fill the gaps
Here's the thing, the printed plastic pieces don't have clean edges when it comes to getting off printing bed. They shrink and warp:
You did your best in the previous step, now it's time to bring the big guns and fill those gaps. I used JB Weld Plastic Bonder, does an excellent job.
Take your time with this one, fill all the voids that should not be there.
Step 4 - Sanding
Not a lot to say here, take your sanding block, some 200 grit sanding paper and get to work.
Sand off those gap filled ridges and anything else that sticks out and doesn't belong.
Do use the sanding block, with long strokes.
Don't sand too quickly, take breaks, otherwise you might heat up and deform the plastic.
The finished piece should be smooth to the touch.
Finish with 400 grit sandpaper and dust off all the sand dust.
As the last phase here, check that everything fits as it should:
Step 5 - spraying with (truck) bed coating
This is the step where everything comes together and makes it worth it.
Just spray it. In several passes. Allow the coating to dry in between.
Don't flood the enclosure or you'll get oozing marks (ask me how I know).
The result is well worth it, it becomes textured and conceals all the sanding and transitions.
Check the fit and finish. You can definitely show it off!