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Building an enclosure using 2020 profile aluminum

June 18, 2020

The Snapmaker 2 A250 is a loud machine, specially when carving with CNC. I've recorded a high of 75.8 dB in one of my projects which my neighbor would not like to hear repeatedly.

While Snapmaker sell their official enclosure, various reasons led me to pass up on it that led to this project.


I'm going to use materials that are readily available from Lazada for convenience however, delivery times won't be fast so this project can take a while. The indicated prices are in Philippine Peso.

Quantity Description Unit Price Total
8 3-Way End Corner Bracket Connector for T slot Aluminum Extrusion Profile 2020 series (Pack of 4, with screws) 202.00 404.00
8 2020 T-Slot Aluminum Profiles Extrusion Frame 600mm Length For 3D Printer CNC 316.00 2,528.00
2 Machifit 1500mm Length 2020 T-Slot Aluminum Profiles Extrusion Frame For CNC   742.00 1,484.00
2 Aluminum T-slot Aluminum Profile extrusion Accessories 2020 Door Hinge 109.00 218.00
1 Pack of 10Pcs 6mm T-Slot Aluminum Profile Antirust L Bracket 90º Internal Angle Connector EU-2020 274.00 274.00
1 Pack of 100 T-slide Nut T-Nuts M4 For 2020 T-slot Aluminum Profile 206.00  206.00
1 Black granite base 600 mm x 600 mm x 3/4" 2,500.00 2,500.00
1 Set of acrylic panels 2,800.00 2,800.00
2 12Pack 30x30x25cm Acoustic Foam Studio Soundproofing Wall Tiles 635.00 1,270.00

3D printed parts

  • 200 mm T-slot panel guide rail (you have to cut short a few of them to fill up the vertical 2020 profile aluminum).
  • Power supply bracket T-slot mount bottom, top, and alternative top - no lip.
  • Side pocket T-slot mount, for storing the 3D print bed, CNC wasteboard, or Laser engaving platform.

The build process

The 3-way corner end brackets were the first to arrive. The supplier said "screws included" but there are only four screws per pack when sixteen screws are needed. Oh well...

Next to arrive are the 600 mm 2020 profile aluminum so I immediately proceeced to the assembly of the top and bottom frames.

Using a steel L-square, I made sure that the frame is squared (sic).

The 3-way corner bracket in focus. With only 4 tiny screws securing long 2020 profile aluminum, the soon to arrive 90º angle corner connector should provide additional strength.

And in minutes, the bottom frame is done.

A beautiful disaster

Initially, the plan was to fix the acrylic panels onto the exterior of the frame using M4 T-nuts. When I sent in the dimensions of the panels to the cutting service, I was promptyly told that it won't fit a single 4' x 8' acrylic sheet. I used Inkscape to layout the panels which while it works, is crude. Thankfully, I was given a link to Workshop Buddy by member Emilio Dunn.

After entering the parameters into the Cut optimization diagram generator, here's what I came up with.

The panels are:

  • top and bottom: 606 mm x 606 mm
  • sides: 606 mm x 726 mm
  • door: 600 mm x 700 mm

The extra 6 mm will be become the "tabs" at 3 mm all side and will slot inside  the panel guide rails I designed in Fusion 360.

The prototype was printed using PETG filament on the A250 and the fit is pretty snug with the sample 3 mm acrylic I've been playing around with.

After confirming the dimensions, I mass produced the panel brackets on the A250.

The side panels will have a notch on the bottom corners to clear the T-slot L brackets to strengthen the bottom of the frame. I was juggling my thoughts if I should still use brackets which may leak sound due to the notch or sacrifice integrity of the frame and have better seal. In the end, the notch wins.

I think the end result is a cleaner and safer way (no more exposed acrylic edges) of fixing the acrylic panels to the frame.

Moving along...

The 1,500 mm 2020 profile aluminum finally came, so I wasted no time cutting them in half that will become the pillars for the four corners.

The next tedious step is inserting the acrylic panels into the 3D printed rail guides installed in the 2020 profile aluminum (blue and black rails in the above photo).

Finally, I am able complete the enclosure and is now standing tall in its glory. The internal acoustic dampening foam, granite base, and door are the final missing pieces. In addition, I was able to repurpose two tiles of the "puzzle floor mat" I bought long ago where the dimensions are exactly 60 cm x 60 cm, a perfect fit for the internal size and just the right height.

It looks pretty good with the entire Snapmaker A250 inside it. The power supply will be mounted externally on the side of the enclosure using a custom 3D printed bracket.

Found some time to design the PSU bracket and it looks tidy and neat on the side of the enclosure.

The acoustic foam has been installed in this stage but due to the fact that I only ordered one set, the coverage is partial.

I nearly discarded the idea of using a granite base because I didn't realize it'll be difficult to find. Many kitchen makers dimissed my inquiries and I almost gave up, until a friend told me to ask tombstone makers. Lo and behold, I found one.

The initial plan is for the granite to be at the bottom where the entire enclosure sits on, but another challenge came up and that is finding a 640 mm x 640 mm granite. The tombstone maker told me he can only go as big as 630 mm x 630 mm and after days of contemplating, I said I want one in 600 mm x 600 mm and it'll go inside the enclosure instead.

I didn't realize granite is this heavy, my car sags when it was loded by the helper. I washed it with car shampoo and water and let it dry.

With a little bit of effort, I got it inside the enclosure and I'm pleased with what I'm looking at.

The door hinges have been installed, the power supply bracket relocated to the right side of the enclosure, and a small notch was made on the lower right side of the door to allow entry of the wires.

Now what?

After all these work, did I silence the Snapmaker? Sure do.

I made several measurements during different iterations of the enclosure and I'll just list them up here for reference.

Noise level  Conditions
~76 dB  On top of my table in open space 
~high 60 dB  Enclosure with no acoustic foam, no granite base, door closed
~55 dB  Enclosure with partial acoustic foam with granite base, door open
~ mid to high 40 dB Enclosure with partial acoustic foam with granite base, door closed