Machine Enclosures & Part Storage

This will be Update 1 on some shop furniture projects I have undertaken to better house and unify equipment and storage in my lab. Here is the corner of the lab currently under upgrade and cleanup.

Laser Cutter Drawers
By far the most complex, this involved designing a cabinet with two full extension drawers to fit inside an existing metal rack. It has cable drag chains that nest in the same thickness as the drawer slides carrying compressed air, power for each machine, and control signals. When closed the drawers also trigger a fume extraction system that pulls smoke through HEPA + activated carbon filter before exhausting it back into the room. As these 10W optical power diode lasers are primarily engravers and I only use “safe” materials, the generated fumes are not very severe. The extractors run around 70% full power.

The drawer fronts were the first and sexiest part to make. I use a 36% VLT acrylic for scratch resistance bonded to an MDF drawer front. I routed the chamfer to avoid multiple setups, but the Shapeoko did the rest.

I built the cabinets WITH the machines installed and separated on spacers. It was a bit awkward but worked out well in the end.

Inside each drawer there is one laser cutter, light strip, and wifi camera. The decals were cut on a Silhouette Cameo though Carbide Create helped generate the SVG.

Parts Rack
I like using full size bakery trays for ongoing project storage. It keeps associated parts together safely and in a very compact space. Recently between client and personal work I overflowed my existing rack, so built this new on and tucked it under my spare worksurface (aka constantly covered surface). I sprayed the trays to match my shop colors, and a few weeks later finally machined the side panel from PVC. Neat thing is it just pressure fits in, so I didn’t have to glue it. I may create a door
front for this so the kiddos don’t keep reaching it to re-sort my parts.

3D printer Enclosure
Similar to the laser drawers I needed cover twin machines, so far I have built one set but the CAM files are already updated for the second. Basic design is like a microwave. Front control panel (custom 3D printed) and a big hinged door that opens. Last piece I am still designing for these is a special top cover.

The metal chassis on these printers had some awkward protrusions, and I needed the enclosure to slide on from the front for installation. I ended up needing to put the panels back in the CNC a few times for recuts, but locating off my corner square I didn’t even have to re-zero any axis.

Lights are on during prints, so you can easily see inside.

Tons of access :slight_smile:


Super organized, looks great!!! Is this part of the Rocinante (I think you posted that spaceship door a while back)?

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Good memory! This is a separate room that I call the DFab (digital fabrication) lab. The Rocinante galley actually has the Shapeoko too. I haven’t finished the room yet, but the new season starts in a week so that will probably kick me back in gear :slight_smile: