Tidying up 2020 CNC frame extrusions with a 3D printed end cap

Aluminium extrusions are common on low-end mini CNC machines, particularly the 20mm square 2020 variety. In some cases, such as my cheap Chinese 1610 CNC machine, they’re used to create the whole framework for mounting stepper-motors, spindle motors, LASERs, controller boards, and all manner of other things. Yet, they’re often left open, basically as cut, at the ends. So, I decided I’d design some simple end caps in OpenSCAD to 3D print: you can see the result in the photo below.

A photo of an unpainted 3D printed end cap inserted into the end of a 2020 extrusion on a CNC frame

The design is very simple but that makes it easy to print without any supports. Once printed simply push it into the end of the 2020 extrusion to seal and tidy the frame end. And, adding a little paint can make it blend in with the extruded aluminium finish, as in the photo below. So, as I found this design useful I thought I’d post about it so you can make your own: click here to head over to Thingiverse to download the files for 3D printing, as well as the OpenSCAD file for customisation.

A painted end cap in a 2020 frame
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3D printing an 80x80mm extractor fan housing for LASER cutting

LASER cutting on a cheap and cheerful CNC machine is lots of fun, but I can’t say the same about the smoke and fumes. That’s why I posted before about a simple extraction system. But since then I decided to try to do better using a larger fan mounted on the CNC’s 2020-extrusion frame. So I used OpenSCAD to make a design based around an Arctic Air 80x80x25mm PC fan, as it’s designed for higher airflow than cheaper fans. You can see the result in the photo below.

A photo of the extractor fan housing mounted on the CNC frame during LASER cutting
The extractor fan housing mounted on the CNC’s 2020-extrusion frame

The design did quite a good job and the air flow-rate was quite impressive in my opinion. However, it has the disadvantage of covering a large area so the suction around the LASER-cutting area turned out less than for my previous design. So I decided to adapt the design to allow the fan housing to be mounted to a simple enclosure I’m prototyping for my machine. That led to me adding side supports that stick to the housing and have flanges with holes for bolts.

Using the fan with the enclosure works really well, with hardly any smell of smoke or fumes coming out while LASER-ing, as it’s all blown through a flexible 60mm hose out through a nearby window. You can see the side supports in the 3D assembly picture below. And, if you’d like to have a go at making your own extractor fan from this design, click here to go the Thingiverse page which includes all the STL files and the OpenSCAD design file too.

A 3D image of the assembly of the parts used to build the extractor fan housing and mountings
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