Note that some enclosures cross over into Pendant territory.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Case
- 3 Control Options
- 4 Connectors
- 5 Miscellaneous
- 6 Features
- 7 Designs
- 8 Forum Discussions
- 9 Pictures
An enclosure is just that; it encloses your electronics from the outside working conditions. It serves a dual purpose; first by keeping your electronics clean and tidy while also isolating live wires, but also protecting electronics from flying debris, dust, falling objects, etc... An enclosure is just as important as the CNC machine itself!
A basic enclosure consists of a case, connectors, a fan or two, and all of your electronics. The case is the skeleton of your enclosure. It will protect your electronics from anything that my harm them. However, if certain things aren't taken into account your electronics can fail from a poorly constructed case. A case can be as simple as a plastic milk crate or wooden box or as robust as a custom metal housing or a purchased project box. This is really up to you on how professional or sophisticated you want it to look. We'll discuss more about this below.
Heat will probably be your biggest enemy in an enclosure. If proper circulation isn't provided, your electronics can very well melt. There are several ways to combat this though, some including but, not limited to are fans, heatsinks, or a peltier device.
You need to allow for air to circulate through your enclosure, if it is enclosed on all sides, and whisk away the heat produced by your electronics. The best way to due this is by mounting a fan on your enclosure, much like the fans on a desktop computer.
Heatsinks are another good idea and when coupled with a fan your electronics will love you. Also, look in to a peltier device as an alternative to a heatsink.
Bare Wires and improper grounding can be another demise to your electronics, especially if your enclosure is made of metal. Be sure to heat shrink any bare wires to keep them from shorting out. I know electrical tape may be an ideal solution to some, but as it ages, it will dry and fall off exposing the wires. Improper grounding could be an issue as well but, provided you set up your electronics correctly, you should be fine.
One helpful feature for an enclosure is labeling controls and connectors. This can be easily done w/ a V-bit and engraving software. Another option us to use a commercial service: http://frankie.graffagnino.net/2015/03/new-way-of-making-electronics-front.html
E-Stop implies "Emergency" - it should only be used when the machine is on fire, pulling you into the cutter or some other catastrophe is happening. It should cut ALL power: spindle, coolant, stepper motors, etc.
When you hit the E-Stop, everything should STOP. It's a hard reset, you will need to reset your zero and everything else.
There is a reset button on the controller that can be used to just stop cutting. It will also require you to reset your zero and the like, but it doesn't power everything down.
Feed Hold is designed to pause the machine so you can move something out of the way, maybe move a clamp, pull out some swarf, etc.
Cycle Start resumes a feed hold, it also can be used to start a program after you send it to Grbl if you turn off the 'auto-start' setting. So you can start streaming and the machine won't start moving until you hit 'cycle start'.
Carbide Motion Machine Control Board
hold button only sends signal to the board and pauses movement. Right now, if you press hold, you have to press resume from the keyboard.
Connectors will make your life easy when you need to move your machine. They are simple to use yet often over looked. Just remember to get a connector that meets your voltage and amperage specifications.
- Aviation Plug 6-Pin 16mm GX16-6 Metal Male Female Panel Connector
Files for layout
Listed below are items you'll want to check out for making your enclosure the best it can be:
- Liquid Electrical Tape
- Wire Sleeving http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l2736&_nkw=wire+sleeving
- Rocker Switch
- Emergency Stop http://www.ebay.com/itm/170520711348?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_1101wt_1399
- Panel Mount USB B female/male extension printer Cable
- IEC AC Power PCB Panel Socket http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l2736&_nkw=IEC+AC+Power+PCB+Panel+Socket
An interesting idea is to wire in lights to indicate motor functionality:
There are a number of potential features for an electronics enclosure. Some notable ones:
D.R.O. (Digital Read Out)
Run-time (hour) meter
Here are some threads from the ShapeOko Forum on enclosures. (Updates will follow to include all threads)
- SuperPID Enclosure
- electronics enclosure --- by xfredericox http://www.manmademayhem.com/?cat=5 all-in-one enclosure controller w/ touch screen, dedicated buttons, switches and E-stop
- S3 Electronics Enclosure
- My Electronics Work (pretty box)
- Roo's build (nifty cigar box)
- Electronic Enclosure (cut clear acrylic w/ CAD files)
- Re: Any interest in a breakout to tidy up the wiring?(GRBL Tidy Case - Clamping Version)
- Electronics Faceplate (front panel) Installed: (another cigar box)
- Shapeoko electronics enclosure and a bookshelf (plywood enclosure for the power supply, arduino, cut-off switch etc.)
- Seeed "Acrylic Project Skeleton" Enclosure
- My Build Log - now with more Drive Shaft! (metal box)
- Re: AtomCNC (GRBL Board) (Acrylic design)
- Designing a Case (Acrylic design)
- ShapeOko to eShapeOko (Mach3 control box)
- Spindle Control Box
- Another Enclosure
- Re: MeanderBolt's Build Log --- Fan cage for Arduino and shield. Also posted to the Projects Gallery w/ a forum post here: Shapeoko 2 Compatible Spindle Mount.
- Another electronics enclosure to fit all the things --- made of 6mm acrylic and designed to hold two power supplies.
- gShield Controller Enclosure --- plywood cube accommodating a fan and emergency stop.
- Re: electronic enclosure --- a plastic food container re-purposed as a dust enclosure w/ room for a fan.
- Make a control panel --- discussion of which buttons are appropriate / needed.
- Electronics Enclosure with fan and reset button. --- plexiglass? and MDF
- Alarm: Probe Failed --- discussion of electrical difficulties caused by putting electronics in an enclosure.
- Enclosure and Pendant Project
- SO3 Control Box
- plastic shroud replacement
- ShapeOko Electronics Enclosure https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/File:Cover_makercam_design.svg
- Electronics enclosure / control interface --- enclosure which incorporates a tablet for an all-in-one machine.
- gShield Enclosure --- Bart Dring designed a compact sheet metal enclosure which will accommodate a fan in addition to the Arduino and gShield.
- Amazon: BUD Industries PN-1335-DG High-Impact ABS NEMA 4x Indoor Box, 10-27/64" Length x 7-17/64" Width x 3-47/64" Height, Dark Gray Finish
- plastic junction box from Home Depot
Electronics enclosure questions? MDF has Static hazard? --- discussion of materials.