Having an enclosed 3D print has many benefit, you wouldn’t bake with your oven door open?


  • This solves a very important problem about convection air currents within the printing space. When printing with a Open Air Printer, your prints are subject to a possible breeze hitting it and popping it off before the print is done. Premature cooling can cause failures in many prints. Often, when printers are sold, they are preconfig to run in a office or warehouse, where the temperatures can vary greatly from where the printer actually winds up living.
  • “You wouldn’t bake with your oven open, would you?”  Printer temperatures reach 250 degrees Fahrenheit, that heats up a small office very quickly. Besides being more comfortable when watching a print, you will save on not having to heat the whole room.

Host and client on the same machine

This might seem like a weird feature to some that have not used a 3D printer before but a 3D printer needs another board to control the 3D printer controller board. Most people plug the 3D printer into their computers or laptops and run prints from there, this ties up the machine until the print is done. Then those users learn about running either Repetier Host/Server or OctoPrint/OctoPi on a Raspberry Pi, a low power open source computer. Adding this allows for uploading prints via the web. What you wind up with is either a mod to the printer or a bunch of wires and a Raspberry Pi consuming a desk. This is why the the Raspberry was built into the printer itself as a standard feature.

Adding a Raspberry Pi into the build

The choice to use a Raspberry Pi for this printer was base on it wide use and there were already images pre-built, making things easier.

Software for the Raspberry Pi

Between Repetier Server and OctoPrint, which seem to be among the more popular, Open – Source was kept in mind during this project. Repetier Server has a great free offering, however that offering is minus a couple of features that makes using OctoPi and Octoprint together and easy choice. Both have a good web interface, Repetier Server, can manage multiple machines very well with the web interface. OctoPrint has plugins and an active community supporting those plugins. One plugin that makes printing from any browser, simple, is Slicer. This plugin allows you to manulate STL files and slice them with either Cura or Slic3r.

Auto – Bed Leveling

Auto – Bed Leveling

The XenoCube has a inductive sensor utilized as the Z end stop. The Marlin Firmware is set to auto level the print to the bed, so that the imperfection/uneven surface will not be affected during the print. Auto – Bed Leveling runs before every print to unsure consistent printing.

Electronic Parts Description

Electronic Parts Description

This contains a list of the electrical components with explanations for use as opposed to other electronic equipment.

  • In:120v Out:24v Power Supply –  XenoCube needs 3 different power rails to run all of the equipment. (5V, 12V, and 24V). Main focus for this PSU is end user experience, the heatbed can handle 24V input. On some printers the poor heat up time can make for a less desirable experience. Utilizing a 24V connection directly to the heatbed produced 7 minute heat times for XenoCube.
  • Dedicated heat bed relay – To control the rapid heat up is a heatbed relay using a mosfet chip to regulate the power to the heatbed. This is a performance addition as the printer control board can control the current directly but by offloading it to a separate board reduces heat on the control board, which if not cooled can impact performance of other components. In this setup for XenoCube, the Printer Control board heatbed power wires used to power the bed are used to control the relay, allowing the control board to still control and monitor for problems such as thermal runaway (Marlin Firmware Feature).
  • MKS v1.5 Printer Control Board – This is a good board, for the price and feature list. There are many other boards out there that would be picked as higher end then this design, however all-on-one board are:
    1. 5 stepper driver
    2. Extruder Power
    3. Extruder Temp
    4. Heatbed power
    5. Heatbed Temp
    6. Fan control
    7. 6 endstops – a little much..
    8. Dual extruder capable.
  • Optical EndStops – These are a little more expensive then mechanical endstops. In the long run, these sensors will last long as there is no contact.
  • E3d Hotend – Dealing with a hotend that jams all of the time or a hotend that can only handle low temp materials, can be time consuming and exhausting.
  • Nema17 motors – reliable motors to drive the printer.
  • 24v to 12v inverter – This is utilized to step down the voltage to supply power for the printer board.
  • 12v to 5v inverter –  This is utilized to step down the voltage to power the Raspberry Pi.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 – This is an amazing open-source, cheap, and widely known/available. Easy choice for hosting the print server.
  • Logitech C270 – Cheap, low power camera.
  • 75mm cage (squirrel) fan – Utilized for cooling the hotend.
  • 40mm box fan – Cooling for the electronics.
  • 30mm box fan – Fan for cooling the extrusion of plastic.
  • 4mm inductive sensor – Sensor for measuring the distance between the hotend and heatbed.
  • 300mm x 300mm heatbed – Largest heated metal (3m thick) bed.

Hardware Parts Description

Hardware Parts Description

List of the main hardware components for XenoCube.

  • 20mm x 20mm extrusion bar
  • 8mm drill rod
  • M3 screw set
  • 8mm Threaded Lead Rod 2mm pitch
  • 5mm to 8mm coupler
  • 1/4″ acrylic sheet – This is used for the top and bottom sections as the 1/4″ is perfect fit for extrusion bar.
  • 1/8″ acrylic sheet – This is as the main pieces of glass as when inserted in extrusion bar, it leave a little bit of a gap to allow wire routing.

Plastic Printed Parts Description

Plastic Parts

List of details pertaining to the printed plastic parts.

Download the STL Pack here: XenoCube STL Pack

Note: Depending on on the printer printing the parts, its always recommended to predrill the holes on all parts.

Parts list:

  • 12to5v Inverter and Heatbed Relay Mount.stl
  • 24vTo12 Inverter Mount.stl
  • 8mm Threaded Rod Stay.stl
  • 90 Wire Clamp.stl
  • Cam Mount.stl
  • Door Handle.stl
  • Door Hinge.stl
  • Filament Spool Holder.stl
  • Frame Corner Foot Bracket.stl
  • Frame T Bracket.stl
  • Heatbead Wire Holder.stl
  • Heatbed Plate Mount.stl
  • Hotend Ducting Back.stl
  • Hotend Ducting Fan Mount.stl
  • Hotend Ducting Upper.stl
  • HotEnd Ducting.stl
  • LED Light Clamp.stl
  • MKS Controller Board Mount Leftside.stl
  • MKS Controller Board Mount Rightside.stl
  • Power Supply Mount Left.stl
  • Power Supply Mount Right.stl
  • Power Switch Mount.stl
  • Raspberry Pi Mount.stl
  • Tension Spring Cap Extruder.stl
  • Terminal Block Bracket.stl
  • Top Corner Cover Plate.stl
  • Top Middle Cover Plate.stl
  • Top Plate.stl
  • Top Slider Corner with Wiring.stl
  • Wire Clamp 6mm Hole Ziptie.stl
  • Wire Clamp 90 Outside.stl
  • X Axis Carriage.stl
  • X Axis Idler.stl
  • X Axis Motor Mount.stl
  • XY Endstop.stl
  • Y Axis End Stop.stl
  • Y Axis Motor Mount.stl
  • Y Axis Smooth Rod Bracket.stl
  • Z Axis Bed Mount.stl
  • Z Axis Motor Mount.stl
  • Z Endstop.stl
  • Z-Axis idler.stl

Wiring Details

Wiring Details

Notes and Tips for wiring the electronic components together.

  1. Used branded copper wire and not solid core wire.
  2. XenoCube needs 3 gauges of wire:
    1. 4 gauge wire for the connection between the 120v power to the 24v power PSU and wiring for the bed.
    2. 10 gauge wire for the connections between the PSU and 12v inverter. This wire is also used for delivering power from the 12v inverter to other electronic components.
    3. 22 gauge wire for wiring up the smaller components.
  3. Wire is cheap compared to redoing a wire because it was to short. Make sure to always give yourself a little extra length.
  4. Areas that need extra wire: Frame to Bed, Frame to X Axis, and Frame to Hotend. These endpoints will need to have extra wire in between them to be able to move freely around the board.

What Tools will I need?

The following is a list of common tools needed to assemble XenoCube.

  1. Prepping Parts:
    • Drill Bit Set – Including 8mm, 5mm, and 3mm drill bits. Drill the holes on the plastic parts.
    • Metal Chop Saw – Extrusion Bar, Drill Rod, and Threaded Rod needs to be cut.
  2. Frame Construction:
    • Bit Driver – Recommended to save your wrists.
    • Hex Bit Set – Including 3mm Hex, 5mm, Hex, Philips, and Flat head bits.
    • Pliers – Diagonal, and Needle Nose.
  3. Wiring:
    • Wire Stripper – Prepping wire ends.
    • Soldering Iron – Connecting wires together.
    • Wire Crimpers – Connections to PSU and Terminal Blocks.
    • Voltage Meter – Good for checking connections, resist, and well voltages.
  4. Software:
    • Computer – Needed for imaging Raspberry Pi SD card.