While I'm waiting for a good Resin printer design to experiment with (for small detailed prints) I decided to see how well tiny FFF printing on RepRap could look.
Everything below was printed on a Tantillus 3D printer with a Bowden extruder setup (again, I'll do a post about Tantillus soon), so you may even get better results with a geared non-bowden printer, do let me know if you try any tiny printing, it's awesome fun.
For some idea of scale for all the below images -
The UK £1 coin is 22.5mm in diameter.
A EU 1 Euro coin is 23.25mm in diameter
And a USA Quarter Dollar coin is 24.26mm diameter.
All the below prints are straight off the printer, no cleanup - as if you could at this scale :)
For reference I'm using an Mk V-BV J-head (1.75mm) with 0.35mm nozzle
All the below were printed at a not so low 0.15mm layer height, so still room for improvement.
First up, something for a seasonally topical print, and remember it's not all about size!
Nophead's great Heart shaped box, but printed at 30% of the original size - yes, the lid fits perfectly.
These above are printed in natural Taulman3D 618 Nylon material, but is just as happy to be printed in PLA.
Another point to mention is that this box is thing number 61 on Thingiverse, way back in the early days, if you have not yet printed it, go get the download now it's almost Valentines day! - if you didn't get the hint.
And the lid still fits wonderfully, even with PLA.
I'm printing these at quite a high speed (for the size of object) and most of the time as a single object to really reduce the chance of blobs and stringing, that has some big challenges of cooling.
I spent a lot more time photographing these objects than they actually took to print, that was a major challenge in itself.
Next up is the always great Frog by Owen Collins, this frog is normally 30.83mm wide and 15.28mm high, it's a reasonable challenge at normal size and you need good retraction for the feet.
This showed up an interesting issue with Gcode infill, at this point I had calibrated my Tantillus using a very old version of Slic3r 0.7.2b as this is what's recommended with the standard configurations.
You can see the infill is not complete in the feet, after playing with the settings, I moved over to Slic3r 0.9.8 and this problem completely fixed itself, with almost identical settings.
If you want to try my profiles for Tantillus Slic3r Version 0.9.8 take a look at the post here for a download.
Do remember I'm using 1.75mm filament on this Tantillus, so if you are using 3mm, then change the settings.
This was one of the very first things I printed using the Taulman 618 Nylon, and a little too hot (235 degrees) for such a small print.
It's just 29% of the 'normal' size.
He is sat on a UK £1 coin for scale and measures - 8.94mm wide and 4.43mm high
The next print to try was the classic twisted pot -
The 25% one above is 10.14mm wide and 7.8mm high.
If you think you can do better, we have a 'tiny' competition on the RepRap forum here, take a look.
All the scaled down models I have used above will be on the RepRap Forum competition post, if you want to try out a few on your printer.
As I type we have two entries in the RepRap tiny printing competition -
Photo credit Petrus
Photo credit Gulf
Thanks for reading, and do have a go at tiny printing, and post your results (good or bad) on the forum, you never know someone may even offer a competition prize if we get a few more entries.
And in other news... if you are not already signed up, take a look at the rapidly growing 3D printing community on Google+ Here, it's just bust the 10,000 member mark and is a great source of news and all things 3D printable.
Until next time.