Just wondering if anyone here has 3d printed an enclosure what was your experience and material of choice. I am looking for something flexible so I can have 2 separate enclosures that are flexible so kinda like a boosted board. Any advice is appreciated.
There was a guy on here who did print one but think he mainly used to for a mold but if you have a decent size printer and make it thick enough can’t see why not.
What type of plastic filament you plan on using? PLA, ABS, Nylon, Nylon filled, PETG, or a flexible plastic that can be squish and return back to shape? I think generally people would design a case with at least some impact protection. I do not thing Boosted is using a very flexible plastic, but is flexible to handle shocks and vibrations. PLA, ABS, Nylon, and PETG are fine. Though I personally would use either ABS, Nylon, or PETG because It’s proven in world which plastic is best for a specific application.
When you say flexible plastic that can return to its form which ones are on that list cause I dont know too much about plastics and such
I used to use a 3d Printed enclosure. It was printed at 50% infill out of ABS and cracked after only a few rides.Maybe different types of plastic would work fine, but instead of ABS/PLA I would highly recommend trying something such as vacuum forming or fibreglass to make an enclosure as it will last a lot longer.
at what resolution did you print ? this is a very big factor…
I have an enclosure printed @ 100micron, PLA plastic and its very rigid.
Filaments such as ninjaflex by Ninjatek and polyflex are flexible. I am not sure how these these filaments are made flexible. Matterhackers.com has a bunch of flexible filaments for sale in the diameter you need. Other online sites do. Filament choice is limited by your max nozzle temp so keep that in mind when you want to print nylon.
I printed at 200 microns. The enclosure does feel very rigid and strong but after a while it cracked directly through one of the layers. Maybe just due to bad layer bonding. Printing at 100 microns would have probably made it a lot stronger but it would have been a 30hour+ print so I decided not too.
Being someone who does a lot of printing, this is what I would recommend. If you have a printer with a small build plate, don’t do it. Printing in parts is not a good idea for this kind of thing (unless you were to make a design which connects together in a way which makes it bend, which would just be awesome. (think a rattlesnake rattle, a bunch of small, solid pieces which when connected, are able to move.)
Realistically, 3D printing the enclosure has drawbacks to it, I thought about it originally too, but decided to go with something else after. A 3D printed enclosure is much more susceptible to breaking (the one thing an enclosure is never supposed to do), so if you really want to do it, do it in Nylon and print it at a very high temp, that will allow for maximum strength. It will still be weakest along the layer lines, but if done right, should be fine.
I’d also like to recommend not printing in any brittle materials such as PLA. Even ABS is very brittle for an application such as this one. I went over a NYC curb on one of my boards, and shattered my LCD on the bottom of my board (bad planning on my part), but just think, the same thing can happen to your board too. So consider the consequences, and if you decide to print it, make it out of a very durable plastic.