Reinforcing 3D printed enclosure

Hey guys :wave: , I need some advice about my enclosure please. I 3D printed it (which was a huge mistake cause at that price I could’ve bought carbon fiber and make it on my own…) and after a couple of weeks or so it started to crack around the edges (see in the photo below) . Do you have any idea on how I can reinforce it with something so it wouldn’t break completely? I used hot glue for now but I doubt if it will last long.


For my old battery case that was weaker I lined the inside with gorilla glue duct tape (any duct tape really) this way can’t see it from the outside but glue and fiber reinforced on the inside.

Curious did you pay to have someone print that? Pretty large scale if it was done as a single piece imagine it was pricey.

1 Like

That hot glue won’t last, vibrations will make it fall off basically. Best option would be what @wafflejock recommended.

I would use it to make a plug to take a fibreglass mould from. Then you could make a nice new one from fibreglass.

jsut out of curiosity, got any pictures of your cracks? also, what material did you use, what temps and inn what orientation did you print it?

Yea I didn’t do it myself and it was quite expensive… as I said , with that money I couldn’t just bought enough material to make a carbon fiber enclosure and it was a huge mistake not to. About 150$

I thought about it but I would do that only when it completely breaks cause fiberglass and carbon are expensive…

I’m not really sure about the specifics but it’s made from pla. The cracks are now covered with hot glue but it’s where I marked them in the photo.

If you like the overall shape and exterior aesthetic of your print, just buy some fiberglass or carbon fiber and line the interior of your case with it. Get a roller compressor so you compact the fabric as close to the walls as possible after you impregnate it. Should give you something with the same dimensions as your current part, less about 2 mm of interior space per wall face, and it should be more than strong enough to last. Your week points will become your bolt holes to your board.

That…& fibreglass or the new kid in town - kydex

PLA is notoriously brittle, it’s good for getting a shape for a mold because it doesn’t deform/warp when cooling like ABS but ABS is a bit more impact resistant (it acts a bit more like clay, less brittle). For $150 you could have bought a cheap 3d printer :wink: not that you would want to honestly but at $500 the CR-10 is supposed to be pretty good and then you could print them all day. Thanks for letting me know though was very curious, for a big part the chances of a failure are high and not everyone has big enough printers to do a part like that in one go so the price makes some sense.

Sorry to see it cracked but yeah some duct tape and hot glue can fix it in the short term (another advantage with abs is you can make “abs slurry” melting down abs in acetone then using it as paste to put parts back together when the acetone evaporates it leaves behind most of the plastic you melted down into it… unfortunately doesn’t work with PLA, not soluble in acetone)

1 Like

Thanks for the reply! I had an idea of using zip ties to reinforce it, what do you think? Do you have any other solutions ? Thanks again bro this is very helpful

No problem. Yeah zip ties aren’t a bad idea could maybe just glue them in there to give it some more places to hold on but haven’t tried that myself (do use zip ties all over my quadcopter though and they are fairly durable especially the nylon ones, but just using them in a conventional way there). If you didn’t already you can use mounting tape to stick the batteries to the board itself though personally I do like having everything just hanging in the box there so it can wiggle a little bit instead of everything feeling all the vibrations the board is under.

Yea I have thought about this problem… do you I should put something under the battery to give it some padding ?


Your strongest, most long lasting solution is going to be lining the thing with a composite laminate. It can be done pretty cheaply too. You can get fiberglass and polyester resin kits for auto repair and most autoparts stores (pepboys, etc.) and even some walmarts and homedepots. Quart of PE resin and a square yard of 200gsm/6oz fiber e-glass should come in at under 25 bucks.

1 Like

I’ll check on that. Thank you very much

My battery one split apart too, and I used ABS for my print. All I did was buy a roll of fiber tape (ridiculously strong stuff) and the standard expanding gorilla glue, and reinforced the whole inside of it, going perpendicular to the layers, so they couldn’t de-laminate. It has held up perfectly fine with no signs of stress for almost 5 months now.

Thanks bro! Super helpful I’ll try to find these at a local store

Of course! No problem

1 Like

A layer of resin on the outside might help And would seal it up

1 Like