Enclosure - ideal openings for easy access

I’m building an enclosure with the front+top panel that opens up to access the shapeoko. This makes my access to the rear a bit limited. In your experience, did you need to access the rear a lot (i.e. squaring the machine, etc.) and will this be an issue with my enclosure?

I had a similar concern, built an enclosure with no access to the back of the machine (since anyway the machine is against a wall and I would not have had access to the opening anyway), and 6 months later I have not felt this causing any problem/constraint.
Squaring from scratch means getting the SO completely out of the enclosure anyway in most cases, and should not be necessary very often. Access for cleaning-up debris was another concern of mine, but in practice not a problem, at least for me.

1 Like

I haven’t had any access issues with mine.

I put openings (with hinged doors)on both sides to give me access to the rear if needed. I think I have opened one side one time when i had to replace the wiring to a motor. Without the side panel opening I think I could have still done it, it just would have been a little harder to get to.

I recently completed an enclosure for my XL. It has three sliding panels across the front for everyday access. I have a bicycle lift mounted on the ceiling so I can lift the entire enclosure above the XL to enable easy 360 degree access and cutting of oversized projects.
I also “oversized” the enclosure a bit to enable possible upgrades.

I made mine to have the front 1/3 to hinge open, I also made it to have the whole back panel hinge open.

I have a complete drawing set of plans if you are interested.

TOP_ENCLOSURE_00.pdf (429.1 KB)
OVERALL_00.pdf (931.5 KB)

1 Like

Thanks. This helps a lot!

Thanks everyone. I am setting it up in my apartment so I don’t have much options. Good to know not much rear access is necessary. Just the same, I think I will use screws, instead of glue to connect it in case I need to temporarily disassembly it later on to take out the machine or to make some adjustments.

I spend a lot of time looking through the top window of my enclosure. I would highly recommend having at least a small window to be able to see inside without having to stoop over.

My long-term plan is to build a full enclosure with a door on the front, but put the whole machine platform on heavy-duty drawer slides so that I can pull it through the door and access all parts if necessary. Still need to work out a good way to secure the drawer platform while the machine is in use.

1 Like

Thats a beaut. I actually was worried about the (a) cost and (b) soundproofing issues of using plexi-glass in my enclosure. So currently there are no windows, but I will install an endoscopic camera inside. Ideal for me is still the window, but somehow its costs so much!