Printing tiny, high-precision objects


112 points | by rbanffy 8 days ago


  • CosmicShadow 8 days ago

    This actually feels like the future. So much stuff comes out that's like "ok, that's cool", but it's really not that fast or great, and yes I know this isn't close to out, but even the demo is like wow! And the medical applications! It's nice to be genuinely excited once in awhile!

    • Neat. These optical techniques work wonders. I have really liked the various 2-photon based techniques.

      (for example)

      2 photon techniques tend to have much higher resolution than noted here. This seems a technique for devices on the macroscale, as compared to the 100nm sorts of resolution for the 2PA based systems.

      • h2odragon 8 days ago

        > "The system is currently capable of making two-centimeter structures with a precision of 80 micrometers, "

        Ok, fine and dandy but then:

        > "Interior design could be a potentially lucrative market for the new printer."

        ... I guess these people are really into the "tiny houses" thing.

        • hnuser123456 8 days ago

          Yeah. I have a standard 200mm edge-length-cube printer, and I find it just a little small for functional designs. Something around 1ft to 18" would be nice. I don't mind waiting a few days for a print if it all comes out in one solid piece.

        • sitkack 7 days ago

          This doesn't have the bed adhesion issues that SLA and DLP printers have, so much more delicate structures can be built. So it will be perfect for constructing microtubial networks that form the support structures for growing biological material. If used to make soft robots with embedded sensors, we could construct artificial coral. Measuring is affecting, is constructing.

          3d printing is currently on the human scale of "can I hold it, and interact with it", while scaling up will eventually enable us to 3d print buildings and megastructures, scaling down will enable intelligent matter.

          • iamleppert 8 days ago

            My Anycubic photon has a resolution of 47 microns and can be had for less than $300.


            I have 3 of them and regularly print objects just like the one in the article, smaller even.

            • linsomniac 8 days ago

              This is really neat, but the real breakthrough in 3D printing, to me, is: My co-worker recently got a pretty good 3D printer for under $200.

              • 1MachineElf 8 days ago

                Completed my very first Ender 3 Pro print today. Apart from the quality, I especially like the surplus of resources available for beginners learning with this printer. CHEP especially.

              • chrisco255 8 days ago

                Which model? I'm in the market myself and interested to know what's good to buy under $500.

                • nickthegreek 8 days ago
                • linsomniac 8 days ago

                  As others have mentioned, my coworker got the Cretality Ender 3, for $174. They have a "Pro" model with some upgrades for $214. He's been really happy with it, and I'm planning on getting one for my son for his birthday.

                  The Prusa for around $700 has some pretty compelling features like bed auto-leveling, but that's a pretty big step up.

                  • The reddit 3D printing community always keeps a monthly "what printers to buy" post stickied at the top of their subreddit.

                    This is the latest recommendations post:

                    As others have said, Ender 3 is highly recommended. If you are willing to spend more, the Prusa Mk3s is one of the best 3d printers ever made.

                    • cassianoleal 8 days ago

                      Not OP, but own 2 printers. The Creality Ender models are a solid bet.

                      If you can spare a little more cash, the Prusa MK3s is probably best bang for buck, but the Prusa Mini is great as well if you need smaller build volume.

                      I own a Prusa and despite not having done any maintenance in ages and it vibrating and making noises like crazy (due to said lack of maintenance), I still get near 100% success printing on it. They also offer fantastic customer support.

                      • mkl 8 days ago

                        What kind of maintenance is needed?

                        • cassianoleal 7 days ago

                          In a nutshell: a lot.

                          You need to ensure all screws are tight from time to time. Belts need to have enough but not too much tension. Bearings need cleaning and re-lubing. Leadscrews ditto. Nozzle needs unclogging and replacing every now and then. Fans must be kept as dust-free as possible. Print bed needs wiping frequently with 99%+ isopropanol, eventually a wipe with acetone (if PEI; glass only needs alcohol but you need to ensure it's squeaky clean). Plastic parts can break or sag and need reprinting and replacing.

                          I'm sure I've missed something but you get the idea.

                  • charliebrownau 8 days ago

                    Still waiting for an Open Source Dot Matrix printer without tracking ink

                    • Finally, something gamechanging around here and not blogspam about making a JS library 1% faster.