If I buy a printer, it will be going on a small table on a front porch so as to keep the smell from the house. The porch has a roof, so precipitation is not a concern. I will find a way to keep the wind out, so that will also not be a factor. The only concern I can see is the lack of climate control. The printer will probably be an Ender 3 Pro. Will this turn out bad for the prints? Do I need to be concerned about dew? Any other concerns? Solutions?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Why not use PLA? The sweet smell of PLA is nice (at least in my opinion) and it is not generally considered bad for your health. $\endgroup$
    – Hacky
    May 5 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ An enclosure with a little bit of a vacuum and a hose to the outside or even an active carbon filter is an even better idea if you really need to print ABS. $\endgroup$
    – Hacky
    May 5 at 11:04
  • $\begingroup$ I second what @Hacky said. PLA smells nice, and even if it puts off fine particulates too, they're a substance the body can safely absorb (excluding pigments/additives, but those will be a tiny percent of a tiny percent). I would only worry about printing indoors without ventilation for stuff like ABS. $\endgroup$ May 5 at 22:00
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, and I may be taking this farther than it needs to go. But having the option to print ABS as well as PLA and PETG appeals to me so I'm taking it into consideration. Appreciate the advice! $\endgroup$ May 6 at 5:10

Unless you enclose the printer fully in some way or another, I see problems, even beyond just print quality:

  • humidity can and will end inside the printer by condensation and destroy the electronics, especially in the fall and winter months.
  • being accessible, children from the neighborhood might get their stubby fingers into the running machine or throw off the leveling.
  • being not locked in a box, people might decide to nick your printer.
  • If the printer is in the sun, the filament might age much more rapidly
  • Moisture can impact your filaments, making prints impossible with some filaments unless those are kept in a dry container.
  • Shifting temperatures along a day could lead to prints warping during printing, resulting in deformed prints.
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    $\begingroup$ Good points, but I believe the humidity is even more of a threat to your filament than it is to the electronics. $\endgroup$
    – Davo
    May 5 at 10:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Davo: That's true, but filament is a consumable, and you can dry it and mostly restore it to usable condition. The printer's electronics generally aren't considered a consumable. $\endgroup$ May 5 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Davo I think I will use the official Ender 3 enclosure to minimize shifting temperature and keep the sun and wind out. I live in a very rural neighborhood so children and porch pirates are not a huge concern (hope I don't eat those words later). I think I'll end up storing the printer and filament inside when not in use. Appreciate you all's advice! $\endgroup$ May 6 at 5:07

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