The AnkerMake M5 has really gotten a lot of press with 250mm/sec print speeds, top-of-the-line engineering, and an amazing list of advanced features that work right out of the box. While the M5 attracts beginners because of all of the features already built-in, it also is attracting advanced 3D printing enthusiasts as well. But without an enclosure, its very difficult to use the M5 with heat-loving materials like ABS and ASA, and since you'll be using it A LOT, it'll be putting out a lot of melting plastic fumes into the air. Plus, the main, if only complaint about the printer is the loudness of the fan, and while this won't eliminate the noise it taps it down.
As with all of our enclosures, the AnkerMake M5 enclosure design is based on our hands-on experience with the printer. There's an air scoop in front that brings cool air into the chassis, while the optional air filter or inline venting system keeps your lungs clear. The air flow is designed to passively manage temperatures in the right range to get excellent, consistent results wether your filament likes it hot or cold.
The AnkerMake M5 comes with an expensive solid metal, well engineered spool holder that attaches to the chassis, but designing an enclosure around it would have made the enclosure much bigger, more expensive, and more difficult to heat with ABS/ASA/Nylon. Instead we designed a nifty holder that's as cool looking as the printer itself. You can then place the filament to the side or on top of the enclosure, or replace it with an active dry box or even the upcoming Ankermake V6 Color Engine.
To make it easy to access the printer from the side we built-in side doors as well.
3D Printing ABS with the AnkerMake M5 Enclosure
One of the reasons to get an enclosure is to be able to print durable plastics that won't melt if you leave them in the car. ABS, ASA, and Nylon all can take the heat and stress of being used every day, but really need to have a warm printing environment to prevent warping.
This chart is from our dual channel temperature and VOC sensor/logger, and shows the temperature and air quality for a typical ABS print. Starting in a 69F environment it reached a max of 100F during the print, which came out perfectly with no warping. Pre-heating the bed before starting the print will enable the internal temperature to reach the sweet spot faster, but usually isn't needed since the lower layer are closer to the bed.
The green values show the levels of harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in the air. The carbon filter was turned off during the print to retain heat, and then turned on at the end to filter out the fumes before opening the door.
Adding a 3D Upfitters enclosure provides many benefits:
More flexibility to print different types of filaments, including ABS
Better quality prints because the ambient temperature is controlled
Fume filter to reduce smell or vent to the outside (sold separately)
Sturdy, thick, high-grade acrylic doors that allow easy access to the printer bed
These enclosures are easy to install and made for 24/7 use: thick 6mm acrylic front doors and 3mm thick sides. It's designed for easy filament changes and access to the bed and hot end through the front doors. In the rare case you can't access the printer adequately through the side or front doors, the whole thing is light enough to take off any time you want without removing any cables.
3D Print Your Own Connector Pieces. Or Not.
A lot of customers prefer to print their own connector pieces themselves. We get it: you've got a great 3D printer, and it is itching to print things. No problem! The kit includes the STLs for all 3D printed parts. Typically it takes about 48 hours to print everything you'll need with a .4mm nozzle and .2mm layer height.
On the other hand, if you purchase the optional connector kit, all parts are 3D printed in the best quality American-made ABS. It not only will withstand the heat year after year, but it's also one of the most rigid plastics to add that will make the enclosure sturdier. We proudly use the best ABS filament you can buy from Atomic Filament in Indiana.
DON'T USE PLA!
If you still want to print your own parts, just remember that temperatures inside an enclosure will melt PLA, so you will get the best results with printing parts in a high-quality ABS. The catch-22 is you need an enclosure to print ABS! If you don't already have an enclosure, you can make do with PETG. Just keep in mind that PETG is more flexible and will make the entire enclosure less rigid than if you had used ABS.
Pro Quality American Made Acrylic
The panels are made in a factory in Ohio and cut on an American-built industrial laser, and then flat-packed for your assembly. All you need for assembly is just a hex wrench and a small Philips head screwdriver. (not included.)
6mm Front, 3mm Sides
This is our recommended configuration: the 6mm front really makes a sturdier door and works great in our print farm. This configuration works great for customers who expect more heavy use such as libraries or schools.
If you want to gain a couple of degrees of heat retention or intend to move your enclosure around a lot you can't go wrong with the 6mm all-around option.
The outside venting system will send potentially dangerous and definitely odorous fumes outside. We supply the fan and 4" dryer hose adapter, you get the rest of the parts from your local hardware store.
Interior LEDs (as pictured in the wood & acrylic version renderings) will make it easier to see prints inside the wood version.