Functional polymer 3D printer in the research of Kostyantyn Kryvopust

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YouTuber My N Mi has created what may be the world’s smallest 3D printer out of MSLA resin.

Resin-based 3D printing, especially the MSLA (masked stereolithography) process, has gained popularity over the past few years. Resin printing is known for producing highly detailed and smooth models with virtually invisible layer lines, but until recently it was too expensive for most hobbyists. Now, low-cost LCD panels and LED UV LED matrixes have reduced costs significantly, with small models sometimes dropping below $100. But what if you want to be very small? That’s what YouTuber My N Mi has done with this functional polymer 3D printer smaller than a thumb.

This is not hyperbole. This whole 3D printer is about the same width and depth as an adult’s thumb, and it’s actually a little shorter. The total size is 18x31x41 mm. And if the My N Mi isn’t using some really tricky camera tricks, it’s also fully functional and capable of printing resin parts. The assembly measures just 11x11x17mm, which means it’s limited to printing incredibly small parts. But this only adds to the mystique.

Unfortunately, we know very little about the technical details. My N Mi says XY resolution (presumably pixel size) is 0.135mm and Z resolution (layer thickness) is 0.005-0.03mm. The latter is normal for an MSLA printer, but the XY resolution is poor, although still good enough for some decent prints. The frame is made of some kind of wood, but we don’t know any other details about the parts used. The Z-axis has dual rods and some kind of screw, and that’s all we can see.

However, we can draw some conclusions. There is probably a small LCD panel with the backing removed to make it transparent. Presumably the light comes from a single UV LED. And probably a small microcontroller is used for control. Hopefully, My N Mi will release more details in the future, because we’d love to know what’s going on inside this miniature 3D printer.

Author: Konstantin Kryvopust

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