3D Printer with enclosure vs. without enclosure: Comparison Guide

Whenever it’s about 3D printing, there is always that question about using an enclosure. Whether you should use one or not can be a pretty troublesome choice to make. That’s what I will be discussing with you today.

Here, I will go through the comparison of the 3D printer with enclosure and without enclosure. As most printers have a cartesian build these days, they don’t come with a pen. You have to get one separately. So, you must know whether you should get one or not since you will be spending money on it.

Without wasting any more time, let’s get started with it right away.

3D printers with enclosures vs. without enclosures

Let me clear something out for you first. When using particular materials, using an enclosure almost becomes a necessity. I am talking about using ABS filament. As ABS is pretty sensitive to temperature changes, you must use enclosures for the best results in your printing.

Other than that, for using or not using enclosures, you have to go through the advantages and disadvantages in each scenario. So, let’s start with the benefits you get from using an enclosure.

Related: Printing ABS filament without an enclosure

Advantages with an enclosure

There are several advantages that you get from using an enclosure. Let’s go through them one by one.

  1. The most important advantage of using an enclosure is temperature control. When you use an enclosure, there is hardly any variation or sudden change in the temperatures. It stays consistent throughout the printing process.

This is very crucial for filament materials like ABS and Nylon. These materials are pretty sensitive to temperature changes. So, when the temperature stays consistent, you won’t have to worry about issues while printing with such materials.

  1. Since the temperature stays consistent, you also get better print quality out of it. The enclosure makes sure that the prints you are getting are free from issues like warping and shrinkage.

It gives the printing process a stable and suitable environment with all the necessary conditions.

  1. Another benefit of using an enclosure is the safety from harmful gases. While printing 3D models, you may come across various harmful gases that can be dangerous, especially when using materials like ABS.

Using an enclosure in this situation helps control the gasses and confines them inside. This way, you are not exposed to any harmful gasses at all. It just makes the whole 3D printing process much safer.

Related: CoreXY vs. HBot

  1. Having an enclosure in your 3D printing process keeps the moisture element away from your 3D printing. You don’t need to worry about the print models’ outer environment. This gives you better control over the printing environment, so you get the results you desire from the models.
  2. Using an enclosure can help you get the most out of it when you use a heated bed. It prevents any kind of heat loss from the heated bed. This way, you get better adhesion from the bed as well.

Usually, you won’t have to worry about this issue with materials like PLA or TPU. But if you are using a material like ABS, you have to pay attention to the heat of the bed.

  1. With an enclosure, you can expect less cleaning and maintenance required for your printer. As the printer stays covered, it doesn’t get as dirty or dusty as expected. The less you have to clean your printer, the better it is for you.

Because too much cleaning of your printer can cause issues like short circuits or even interfere with the printer’s efficiency, there is also a risk of damaging the printer in the long run. So, with an enclosed printer, you get rid of all that hassle.

  1. You can also get rid of loud noises using an enclosure if your printer makes any. Since the printer will be enclosed inside the cover, it won’t affect the noises.
  2. Last but not least, an enclosed printer looks much more professional than an open one. Also, the printer components are much safer with an enclosure rather than wide open.

Well, as you can see, there are lots of good things about having an enclosure. But is it all good? No, there are some disadvantages or, let’s say, risks with an enclosure for a 3D printer. Let’s get through them quickly.

Related: Elegoo Jupiter Review

Drawbacks of using enclosure for 3D printers

Here are some issues you may face with having an enclosure for your 3D printers.

  1. They are an extra expense. Whether you are getting them along with the 3D printer or getting them separately, you have to spend extra money on the thing. This isn’t that big of a deal, though, considering you will get used and value out of the thing.
  2. A printer with an enclosure is pretty challenging to maintain. As you won’t have access to the different components of the printer easily, you will have difficulty cleaning them. However, this also helps in reducing the maintenance requirement, so everything works out pretty well.
  3. One of the riskiest parts of using an enclosure is the possibility of a fire hazard. If the temperature gets too high within an enclosed setup, it can cause a fire inside. Since there won’t be any way for the temperatures to go lower from the surroundings, it is open to the risk of a fatal fire hazard.

As you can see, the drawbacks aren’t something to be too worried about. If you have the proper temperatures and have it under control, there won’t be any risk of fire hazards either.

Wrap up

To sum up, using a 3D printer enclosure is always a better idea as it has so many advantages. Sure, you can use your printer without an enclosure. But you will miss out on quite a lot of benefits, and the quality will be comparatively lower.

Especially if you are using ABS or Nylon, or other such materials, it’s better to use an enclosure as they provide you with the best print results you can hope for.


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