3D Printing : (the famous) Ikea Lack enclosure for Ender 3 Pro



Background

There are a lot of article on the Internet about this topic. How to "turn Ikea Lack tables to 3D printing enclosure?" This is a trending topic. But to be honest, I never find the one that takes your by hand from start to beginning. This is the challenge of this post and I really hope you will like it !

Let's go !

First, you need a minimum of two Lack tables from your local Ikea store. It works perfectly with three if you want a higher construction. For me two pieces are the ideal size since it will be on my desk. But if you want to have the furniture laying on the ground, three is indeed a better choice.

Non printable parts (it means you need to buy them)
  • Ikea Lack table (2x);
  • Magnets for the doors (4x);
  • Smoke detector;
  • Power cable extension (from eBay);
  • (optional) Ikea Ledberg LED strip to bring some lights in the enclosure while printing;
  • (optional) shock absorbing carpet;
  • (optional) Thermal sensor (from Amazon)
Printable parts (it means you will used your own factory!)

This is the most trickiest part actually. Finding the right parts for you, there are a lot of options on thingiverse.com and this is the problem : way too many options. So, after few month of searching and reading blogs and forum, I came across this design : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3598219. This is one is a modified version of a Prusa enclosure based on this blog.

So, we need the following : 
Be aware that the printing time for the above will take few days. It took me 6 days with high resolution and high infill. I used 30% infill which is quite high, you may go to 15% if you are in a hurry. I was not ready to redo this build so I went the safe route.

Little note before we move on : You may ask yourself the following questions : Why on earth should I need an enclosure - beside the fact that this is a neat setup, this is a mandatory setup if you aim at printing ABS. Indeed, ABS need a constant temperature to maintain layers adhesion. In a nutshell, the reasons why you would like to build an enclosure : 
  • Keep the desk neat;
  • Keep the printer's elements away from (most of the) dust;
  • Ability to print ABS;
  • Reduce noise;
  • Prevent smells to spread in the room (depending what you are printing...)
However, if you are printing at high temp, you should consider removing any electronic from the enclosure itself. Motherboard, Raspberry Pi, Camera, .... This is another work and I'm not ready to do it - this is not the purpose of this post !

Ready to put everything together

When all parts have been printed, you have something similar to this :


Note : I changed my mind for the PSU mount and filament spool holder. So don't be shocked if you do not have the exact same pieces !

1) Unbox the Lack table and start to build it

Simply follow the instructions. There is nothing particular with this first table. This is the bottom one so this is identical to the original design proposed by Ikea.


When the table is assembled (5 minutes later), this is time to attach the feet of the upper table. I glued them. I was initially thinking at using screws but I was afraid to reach the original feet screws so I changed my mind and go the glue way. I used polymer glue to be sure it will remain in place.


Be sure to glue them at the right place. The cable hole for the PSU upper right corner and the hinges inserts inside facing.

After 1h, I was convinced this was a good choice. Next !

2) LED Strip

Take the second table and let's add the LED strip on the bottom side of it. I'm using Ikea LEDBERG, you are free to use any other LED strip that you want. I think the LEDBERG might not be bright enough, I'll see with the usage. First, I need to do some soldering to have all parts connected together. By default, LEDBERG are attached in a row and I need them 90° to follow the table's corners.


 


As you have probably notice, I'm not a soldering master, but at least it works ! This is low voltage so I'm not too scared ;) 
Talking about safe side, I also attached the smoke detector.

3) Legs assembly

First, we need to screw the upper feet block. The one with the cable hole is back right, so back left when the table is upside-down. The upper feet will use the original table top holes. Easier for alignment and this is pre-drilled so will be perfectly assembled. For this operation we need screws. I choose 6x50 for the table top and 5x20 for the legs :

 


Top corners


Bottom corners attached to the leg


I pre-drilled the legs to avoid any damages using a small wood or metal head :

For the hinges, pay attention : do not invert upper and bottom hinges ! If you are mixing them, you won't be able to open/close the doors.


Repeat this operation on all legs, your upper table is ready !
  

4) The filament feeding mechanism

It was hard to decide which version to choose, there are a lot of options. I finally decided to the Prusa adjustable version and I added a filament filter (to remove dust before entering into the printer's nozzle). The below design was ok but not great, indeed the spool could fall down the wheel. To solve this problem, I have changed the original wheel by this ball bearing-based axes.


With the spool mounted

 

I also added a filter since my printer is located in my basement and this is quite dusty there, so don't want to send dust to the nozzle.


There are some spikes in the middle to keep foam / sponge / cotton wool whatever you like. This is how the filament get cleaned before entering the enclosure.

Next, just slide the filter compartment into the filament tube.

5) Plexiglass panels

The easiest way to achieve this step is to order "cut-on-demand" panels. In US, it looks like Queen City Polymers is a famous one. Since I'm located in Belgium I'm using a local one called Plaque Plastique, but I'm sure Google will help you to find one close to you to shrink down the bill. Printer aside, this is the most expensive section of this build ! Pay attention to the size, you are gettings exactly what you order !

What we need is : 
  • 3x lateral partitions : 440 mm (width) x 525 mm (length) x 3 mm (thick)
  • 2 x doors : 220 mm (width) x 525 mm (length) x 3 mm (thick)
I got mine the day after ordering YES!! Very efficient automated cutting chain ! It cost me about 60 USD / 55 EUR. 


I was thinking at glueing them, but after installation I realized that it will be better if they are still removable. And the good news is : there is actually no need to glue them since they are fitting perfectly. There are some gaps on the sides, but I think this is ok for me. If you do not like any gaps, take measurements before ordering the cuts.

When inserting the panels, you can partially remove the protective film so the entire build remain secured while you are building it. When fully completed, you can remove the films and then woaw effect ;)



6) Attaching the doors handles

Remember those magnets ? This is the right time to glue them on the handles ! I used this type of glue, but any glue that fits plastic and metal is ok.


At this point, a big warning message : check twice before gluing the magnets, if they are on the wrong side, the doors will never close ;) So, again check twice even thrice !

The magnets inside the door stopper :


The magnets inside the door handles


7) Moving the PSU (Power Supply Unit) outside of the enclosure

If you simply place the printer as it is in the enclosure and start using it, the temperature inside will drastically increase. Not sure the PSU will support the heat and if it does, it will reduce his life span. So, this is highly recommended to move it outside. This is why we have printed specific hanging parts.

We need to extend the power cable otherwise it won't be long enough when the PSU is moved. As you know I'm not soldering master, so I just ordered cable extensions from ebay. Easily removable in case of, it only got advantages so why bother ? ;) You will see that the 30 cm extension cable is EXACTLY what you are looking for!



8) Mounting the PSU

I've found many PSU support on thingiverse and honestly, finding the right one was not easy ! So, to be clear, my PSU is a MeanWell LRS-350-24. And it does not seem to be common on PSU support on Thingiverse, so I had to combine one design with a remix from another guy. By the way, big thanks to Neil Norton for his help ! You can identify your PSU when removing the black plastic cover.

 

Everything is fitting perfectly at the bottom of the Lack !




I'm glad about the cable. There is a little spacer to let it go outside of the PSU and it is perfectly fitting the extension without any excess. When you want to remove the top Lack, just unplug the cable from the extension and you are good to go !

9) Adding the thermal sensor

This is optional of course, but always nice to see the temperature inside the enclosure. With a nozzle temp or 215°C and a bed temp of 75°C, it seem to cap at 30°C inside the enclosure, not bad.

I designed a specific housing for the display to have something nice and custom. You just need 2 little screws and drill a hole in the top table of the enclosure to place the sensor at the desire place.




This idea is to let the sensor falling down from the top and keep just enough cable, all the remaining cable is packed into the housing to have something clean.


The sensor is not as accurate as a real scientific one but for the price this is unbeatable ;)

10) All done !

And there we go ! The work is completed and ready to print for hours and hours ;)






I think this is a beautiful enclosure, thanks to all the people involved in this original design. It couldn't be more practical and nice !

More to come ...

Comments

  1. Looks good. Is PLA suitable for printing the parts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, all is printed in PLA. I actually forgot to mention it ! I don't see why PLA would not fit this, the maximum internal temp so far was 32°C. PLA is cheap and easy to print. I'm sure PETG will also work fine !

      Delete
  2. Would this enclosure fit the ender 3 pro?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you read the title, you will notice this is actually the whole purpose of this post .... Of course, my Ender 3 Pro perfectly fits this enclosure...

      Delete
  3. Looks great, thanks for the tutorial! One question, does this enclosure provide enough space for the y-axis to move freely to its fullest extent without interfering with the print bed or the bed heater power cable hitting the front or back?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ricky, yes it does. If you place it right in the middle, you have plenty of space for the Y axis. If you are a bit ingenious, you can also make sure the printer is as much possible at the front, so when the print is completed, it will open the doors to help cooling down more quickly ;)

      Delete
  4. Quick note to anyone looking to build this: The LACK tables in the US as of August 2020 have either been updated or are designed differently than the one in the post and the screws recommended by the author won't thread into the pre-drilled holes as they are too skinny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ryloguy, thanks for sharing this, I was not aware. I've been to Ikea today and I saw the Lacks. They seem to be the same as the one I used for this build.

      Delete
    2. Did you ever find the right dimension screws?

      Delete
    3. Same for me.
      Purchased the Lack Table in the UK November 2020 Screws are too skinny.

      Delete
    4. Hi future American/UK builders:

      Use #14x2" Screws for putting the top corners into the table bed, and use #12x3/4" screws for putting the bottom corners into the leg

      Delete
  5. hallo,

    ik zou deze ook willen printen nu welke infill gebruik je? en print ik de top corners met supports of hoe print ik deze zodat ze makkelijk bruikbaar zijn?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi @cookieke, I used Google translate for this one ;) I use 15% infill in my print and I did not used any support at all. You could use some raft or brim to improve stickiness on the bed if you have adhesion issue otherwise, this is very easy print.

      Delete
  6. It would have been way more helpful, if You've provided some links to items - with english text! The french doesn't do much help...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment. Although these days, it is very easy to translate rom any language to any language, I took your comment into consideration and I have change the links to English-based websites. I hope this helps.

      Delete
  7. Well laid out and easy to follow. Question. Assuming top corners are the same as the bottom corners? (You referenced the "bottom_corners.stl" for both)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joe, well spotted, actually there are not ! I just updated the links related to the corners !

      Delete
  8. Hi, Will this fit the ender 3 v2? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just a heads up the door handles you link don't fit the magnets that you have linked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not really.. it's like 2mm off.. I've just cut the top part of the parts.. they hang above the part but that's fine.

      Delete
    2. Weird, I don't have that problem .... But thanks for sharing your experience !

      Delete
    3. Same, the door handles I printed from the link are smaller and the magnets do not fit.

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    4. Hi,

      You need 20mmX6mmX2mm magnets, on American Amazon you can easily get 20mmX5mmX2mm, I assume the same is true elsewhere as that is a common size

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. I got use to the move ;)
      Seriously, it seems more complex than what it is really ....

      Delete
  11. My plan is to build the exact same enclosure based on your plan! My first printer (Ender 3) is on it's way and it will have a Trainglab DDE. Do you think the fillament feeding system as suggested would work? Furthermore I found that there are two types of 608 bearings: 608zz and 608 2rs. I have no clue what the difference would be between the two :-). What you mind sharing what you've ordered?

    Thanks for the elaborate building plan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bart !

      Honestly, I don't know the difference. I Googled a bit and apparently, you can use any of the 608 family. The most important thing in the diameter. I have used the ZZ one ordered here : https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B07S3SZZST/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I'm glad you like the post ;)

      Delete
    2. A "zz" bearing just means it is sealed on each side with a metal cover, while the "2rs" or "rs" are rubber seals. The bearings themselves are identical in size and used interchangeably.

      Delete
  12. Magents linked are 20mm x 10mm x 2mm. The openings in the printed door handles are 20mm x 6mm x 2mm.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Something you could do to make the lighting easier is to use a led band instead of rigid leds. You can then bend it instead of soldering (except from the power chord).

    I wanted something funny so I bought RGB leds and realized that soldering that was completely crazy :P... But if you use RGB leds, the reciever will probably be on the power plug so it might be difficult to change it to power everything solely with the ender 3 PSU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are damn right ! But I thought that was more durable with that one ... :)

      Delete
  14. não teria perigo de superaquecer alguma peça?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The highest temp I got using the enclosure was 40°C inside the enclosure ... so I think this is more than ok ;)

      Delete
  15. Great post, Which you have shared here. Your article is very informative and nicely describes the process . Thank you so much. roxtec tools

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  16. Really great guide. It's exactly what I needed, nothing more, nothing less. I might even call it perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anyone else had trouble with hinges all other parts printed fine , but one of the dam hinges lifts every time same hinge no matter where I place em .. other 3 are fine ..failed 5 times now & dunno what else to try

    ReplyDelete
  18. Really nice enclosure, I'm planning to build it with a third Lack and move the electronics either below or above the 3D-printer.
    Would it be possible to share the CAD files or drawings with measurements?

    FYI: Maybe it's just me, but it looks like the links in the thingeverse page don't work correctly. When I'm clicking on any I getting redirected to Ikea Lack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi M.C. Epsilon, always great to get some positive return ;) I will have a look at the links, you are apparently not the only one having this issue.

      Delete
  19. Hi Frederic

    Greetings from Denmark!

    I'm in the progress of creating this myself, and was about to create the 3d printed parts from this awesome setup, then found a simple and quick question. Could you please add the original thingiverse id/link to :
    "Bottom corners : https://cdn.thingiverse.com/assets/ed/b0/90/29/e8/bottom_corners.stl" and
    "Top corners : https://cdn.thingiverse.com/assets/65/f9/d9/7d/e8/top_corners.stl"
    Those two STL's contains all of the four required objects, each. Thats a day and a half of printing for each of those STL's.. waaay too much in one go, at least for me personally. Then I can divide the prints into more... manageable runs..

    Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used Tinkercad to create boxes as "Holes" and split them up into each leg pieces so that I can print one at time.

      Delete
  20. NM.. just discovered mesh tools in Cura marketplace.. :-D

    ReplyDelete

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