Nomad and SO3: Custom Enclosures (the enclosure zoo)

Thanks Mark, I’ll forgo the couch foam, my son advised me how to perfect the soundproofing: ear muffs $10 at walmert (sp intentional). So now it’ll be finished and the window will be small just so I can see the machine hasn’t left on lunch. The camera is a borescope with light. Other accessories to be determined. Appreciate your review Mark, I’m looking for an impeller blower to replace the vacuum, may just build one. I added a cross member on the top plywood also for upper dirichlet tendencies, yes it is real, you don’t want a speaker box you want a speakless box, that’s why I put the frame members on the outside of the box with the face (wide side) against the plywood. By the way (for other noobies): the new electrical circuits are in conduit from service panel to switch boxes and grounded in the service panel. Workshop environments are dangerous.I’m trained and certified in electrical systems if you’re not, pay an electrician and don’t risk your life. I’ve wired my house and workshop and I KNOW it is correct and code compliant, rewiring is dangerous because you don’t know what completely what was done before, I never rewire, I’ll remove and replace but not redo someone else’s possible mistakes. That’s one reason I bought the shapeoko and router so I don’t have to learn about wiring spindles, that mistake could be my last. I just don’t want to encourage a novice about electrical stuff.


Thanks Mark, I’ll forgo the couch foam,

Some form of “coating” of the interior walls of a CNC enclosure is important. It can help diffract/disperse the sound and prevent resonances. A simple, flat wall is very reflective!

In the spirit of your invention, consider the ceiling tiles use in offices, the ones that rest in a grid hanging from the ceiling. They are CHEAP, easily available, and MUCH better than nothing (though formal acoustic foam coupled with MLV is better yet).

my son advised me how to perfect the soundproofing: ear muffs $10 at walmert (sp intentional).

Ear muffs have an NRR rating. It’s best to go for one with a NRR rating of 25 or higher. Certainly, don’t go below an NRR of 20. Spend a little bit more and be sure your ears are protected.

The ones associated with firearms are “OK” for this… but are designed for very loud pulses of sound (shots). Try to get the ones associated with manufacturing, helicopters, or airport workers - constant, loud sound.

So now it’ll be finished and the window will be small just so I can see the machine hasn’t left on lunch.

The camera in my large CNC machine looks down the T-Slot top of the machine so it’s easy to see that things are working well. No windows are best but small is best for windows when one is necessary.

… I KNOW it is correct and code compliant, …

Excellent! Thanks for reminding everyone that the electrical code is critical to safe operation.

I can’t tell you the number of neutral/ground swaps I’ve come across over the years. Thankfully, nobody was injured but I have seen equipment fried.


Outlet neutral testers are cheap and available and very important. Everyone should have one, not to be able to fix it but to identify you have a problem and need an electrician. Common knowledge does NOT relate to electricity, if you can’t explain your situation clearly to an electrician than you shouldn’t work on it. People get confused with black or white for hot. “White Hot” or “White Lightning” does not apply. I’ll refrain from any other nomenclature so as not to imply instructional content. I rented a small house once, it had an electric system of 5 circuits with breakers. Except every circuit was cross wired so that no breaker could actually shut off the circuit, only the main breaker. Every outlet had errored neutrals and grounds and in the box, black and white wires went to both hot and neutral bars. I was the LL’s handyman so I ripped out everything and rewired from start the whole house correctly. My elderly neighbors asked me to check out an outlet that was burnt, I told them to call an electrician immediately. Anyway Mark, I appreciate your replies, thanks Jude

Maybe I know who that might be? :wink:

My innitial design was totally unacceptable, 57DB noise level doing the homeing cycle with the Nomad (I guess it’s even more than without an enclosure…say hello to our well known friend Dirichlet :smile:)

I changed the bottom: Added 2 cross profiles plus a heavy 1 8mm MDF plate

I now let the Nomad rest on Sorbothane 30 pads (fantastic stuff, but expensive)

I use a “plug” (see pictures above) instead of a window. In my experience, switching to a non-window enclosure has a huge impact on noise reduction. Especially the high frequencies find their ways out if the enclosure is not airtight.

The massive bottom and the Sorbothane really kill all the low frequencies, I can hardly feel any vibrations out of the enclosure.


To all that posted here before, thanks for the ideas and advice. This will be an evolving item, but I’m off to a good start. My son and I made the cart and the enclosure from scratch. Now it’s time to machine more things!

Vacuum still must be attached and the lifters for the front. That will make it 100% ready to go.
I have to decide on the exact dust management system. 4" insert already attached at the middle back of the box. Any ideas on “best system” are welcome.

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Very very nice,Glad to see it used to bring family closer,dosent get any better #highfive

I bought (and just received today) this dust shoe:

I liked the clean look of it and it looks like it works well on the videos. I ordered mine with the 2.5 inch port. It might be something to look at Kevin.

My only thought on this - driven by my experience of having a dust shoe mounted to the router it’s self…

The hose puts pressure in different directions. This can mean small variances in cuts probably 0.1-5 of a mm but noticeable.

Well, right now I’m dialed in pretty good on my machine. I’m hoping to get the dust shoe hooked up this weekend. I’ll take some measurements before and after. Also, I have vinyl duct I use for venting bathroom exhaust fans. I’m going to see how that works to transition to the vac hose. Very lightweight. Will have to see if it will collapse once vac is on. That will take pressure off the shoe if it works!

That sounds like a good idea, I’ve seen a few people who bracket the hose from above - I imagine that would also take some strain off the hose and in turn off the router - very keen to see how you get on.

I love your extrusion design, @sliso!

Does anyone know if this design can be used with the Shapeoko 3 XXL? Or would the extrusions bend at that length?

This happens whether the hose is mounted to the router or mounted stationary. The SO3 z gantry isn’t very stiff so it does deflect a little due to hose pressure. So far it hasn’t casued any noticiable issues but if I needed to hold tight tolerances I would run the hose along the cable track to eliminate most of the forces it exerts otherwise.

Sorry about the late response Nick (been out of town for a while), i guess the answer is that, all base systems will deflect somewhat, and the real question is what are you willing to accept (remembering that the SO3 is more of a bench top hobbyist machine than a commercial machine). Should you prefer the 80/20 extrusion system and can accept the additional weight penalty over the supplied bed, I would recommend something a little beefier such as 3.00" X 3.00" or 3.00” X 6.00” T-Slotted Profile, or even contacting and getting them to design and pre-cut the product (if you don’t mind the additional cost).

All my projects are in aluminum and as such, i need a reasonably rigid bed. For larger jobs, I manage the deflection by temporarily bracing the underside of the extrusions to distribute the load, and adjust the cut settings to achieve repeatability and tolerance requirements.

Hope that this helps.

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This is amazing, very fine engineering, how long did this take you to complete?


Very cool. Looks good.

Currently working on my XXL enclosure! Got a filtered extractor fan fitted and the electronics box mounted outside.
What else is a must have in a shapeoko enclosure that I should include?
(doors are still a work in progress!)


Here is my enclosure to add to the “Enclosure Zoo”.

I started in early June 2020 with a stack of MDF and 2x4 lumber. I was rather nervous about this build, I’m over 50 and this is the first time I have ever owned/used a circular saw. I felt I had a good design and plan, but knew I had very little experience so this was all going to be about my execution.

I worked on it a little each weekday night, and most of day on weekends. It was a really good COVID lockdown distraction. Roughly a month later I was not “done”, but I was far enough along that I had a solid and stable place to start constructing my Shapeoko XL.

After another month of nights/weekends, the Shapeoko was functional. It’s first series of jobs was to create the tools and parts needed to tune the machine, wasteboard, etc. Eventually leading to its first real-world task which was to mill the upper doors and lexan windows.

Four months have passed since I started, and this past weekend I got to the point where I am “almost done”. I want to make a plug for the opening I left in the back of the enclosure that is intended for when I need to extend the Y axis (aka “tiling”). I’m thinking foam, but still thinking about how I want it to look and work. I’ve really enjoyed this build, it’s been a great COVID distraction.

So I present to you, the (close enough to call it) finished enclosure. It’s not the best Shapeoko enclosure, but it’s mine and I am really proud of how it turned out.


WOW that looks good!

Definitely puts my hacked-together-bench to shame!

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I was just thinking that as well.