Wow… well I’ve had the new Prusa i3 MK3S for a few weeks now and can’t believe I waited this long to upgrade. The print quality of the Prusa is great, and dimensional accuracy (especially with small features) goes way beyond what I’d expected. I have to say that I’ve gained an new kind of respect for the FDM process and printed components.
I’m impressed to the point that it appears viable (maybe even a no-brainer) to print our own enclosures rather than machine and modify the big bulky expensive shells covered in previous updates.
A downside of course is that prints are porous even at 100% infill. This is important to address because we want to keep water and moisture out with a high IP rating. Although the enclosure will be fully potted anyway, we still don’t want the case exterior taking on water.
Vacuum flooding a low viscosity silicone-based sealant may help offset that issue. I’m looking into it.
For now, this looks like a promising way to perhaps have our cake and eat it too. We can make the total package as small as possible right away. With great quality at a very low initial cost, and (importantly for me) the ability to quickly iterate to new designs without having to burn through stockpiles of inventory. I think I’m in love.
Size comparison with the other enclosure I’d planned to cut to length. Modifying the big one means we’d still end up with a lot of unnecessary width, height and internal volume to fill with potting compound ($).