I was tired of all the noise and dust generated by my ShapeOko 3 CNC so I tried to find a simple and affordable solution to that problem. After looking at what people do, on the internet, I decided to build my own enclosure using PlexiGlass.
Here is the size of the panels I used (all 1/4 inch thick plexiglass):
- Back: 16″ high X 32″ wide
- Side (2X): 16″ high X 26″ wide
- Top: 26″ X 32″
- Front: 18″ high X 32″ wide (yes, 2 inches taller than the back panel. We will see why later)
- Top reinforcement: <32″ wide by 4 inches high. (If you use 1/4 inch thick PlexyGlass, like me, then you want to use 32″ – (2X1/4″) = 31.5″ wide.
The rest of the material is simply:
- 1 clear Silicone tube
- 36 inches of aluminum L angle
- At least 212 inches long of self adhesive foam (3/8 or 1/2 inch thick)
- a roll of masking tape or electrical tape
- 4 X 90 degree angle brackets to fix the top reinforcement piece
- bolts & nuts
So, to build the enclosure, I started by cutting the plexiglass panels (using a plexiglass knife) to the right dimensions. Then, I taped everything (on the outside surface of the enclosure) in place except for the door and the top reinforcement. Once it was done, I turned the whole thing upside down so I could apply the silicone on all the panels junctions.
In my case, it toked close to 3 days before the silicone was sufficiently dry so I can move the enclosure.
I applied self adhesive foam where the enclosure would be sitting. This is having 3 purposes:
- Make sure there is no gap between the enclosure and the table surface so the dust and noise can’t leave the box.
- Reduce vibration between the enclosure and table, also reducing noise.
- Provide some room to run the wires outside the enclosure
Here is what it looks like:
Once the tape is applied, you are be ready to put the enclosure in place!
It’s a bit difficult to see, but I added 2 strips of foam tape on the reinforcement piece. I used 4 small 90 degrees angles to fix the reinforcement to the side panels. This is all sitting at about 1/2 a inch from the front of the enclosure. The 2 strips of foam tape are there to reduce noise and block dust between the door and the reinforcement piece.
The next step was to install the L brackets on each side of where the door will sit. I drilled holes through the side panels and the brackets and used bolts & nuts to fix everything together. Also, when installing the brackets, make sure to leave some room so the door will be able to slide between the bracket and the rest of the enclosure.
Here is a top picture of the left L bracket and door (the door is at the top of the picture). You’ll notice that I moved the foam tape a bit so you can see the gap between the door and the top panel…
You should now be able to close the door. I added another strip of foam tape to the door to create a seal between the door and the top of the enclosure. I made sure the door was taller than the rest of the enclosure so it’s easy to open the door and also I was able to add self-adhesive foam.
As a bonus, here is what it looks from the side.