Printing in a non heated/AC garage

Hardware talk for newbies: questions, advice etc

Printing in a non heated/AC garage

Postby daveculp » 2018-Feb-Wed-15-Feb

My wife recently decided that we should turn my former electronics lab/workshop/man cave into a game room. This is actually cool, we put in a 65" TV, and moved all the gaming system and even an arcade machine in. However, I no longer have a good spot for my 3D printers. Right now they are in the guest bedroom which stays empty most of the year. However, this location isnt ideal. I thought about moving them to a space in the garage. The problem is that our garage is not heated or air conditioned. I live in Texas and the summers are very hot and the winters although considered mild would still leave my garage in the 50's most days and colder at night. All my printers have heated beds and I pretty much only print PLA.

Can I do this?
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Last edited by daveculp on 2018-Feb-Wed-16-Feb, edited 1 time in total.
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Printing in a non heated/AC garage



Re: Printing in a non heated/AC garage

Postby RetireeJay » 2018-Feb-Wed-16-Feb

Well, let's say your garage temperature range is from 40F to 120F
40F = 4.4C
120F = 49C

These temperatures are well within the "solid" range of PLA, so your parts won't be sagging.

Both your heated bed and the extruder are under thermistor control. I imagine you set your heated bed to 40 or 50C, so in the summertime it will barely need any electric heat. In the wintertime it will be working extra hard to maintain temperature, but it probably can manage to do it or come close.

The extruder shouldn't have any problem maintaining your setpoint of somewhere in the range of 190 to 210C. Extruder heaters generally are capable of 250C or more, or a 225C rise over ambient, so no problem there.

If you're running a print that needs local fan cooling at the extruder, then you may have to slow down the print speed in the hot summertime.

The electronics should not have any problem, but if they do become unstable in hot weather you can always try to increase the airflow over the board - adding a fan if necessary.

If the Texas winds blow super-fine dust into the garage, you might have some mechanical issues with your bearings.

So overall, I see no reason not to try it!
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