A 3D printer that is capable of printing itself including its external layer and internal components is not a new concept. The RepRap project has grown from its 2005 roots as a movement to create affordable 3D printers capable of 3D printing 3D printers to a large community of engineers and developers and as of current, the project has hundreds of collaborators. Sometimes 3D printing a new 3D printer isn’t quite as practical as a RepRap project, though, as enthusiasts turn to 3D printing to immortalize a 3D printer just for fun.
In the Formlabs public forum, a 3D printing enthusiast by the name of Richard Kagerer released a guide on 3D printing a desktop 3D printer — a one-tenth scale model of the Form 2. The tutorial notes detailed steps on 3D printing a mini Form 2 3D printer model, which proved popular at Formlabs’ Fuse user conference held for the first time this June. He began designing the model about a week ahead of the conference, building and bringing several of the mini 3D printers as commemorative gifts to share with other SLA 3D printing enthusiasts. To help share the well-received model with the Formlabs community, and ease the process of creating more of the mini printers, which he dubbed the BabyForm2, Kagerer includes a zip file which contains printable files in .form types, that is read by Formlabs 3D printers.
“These little guys were a hit at the FUSE user conference. I didn’t bring enough for everyone, so I’m posting my work here for anyone to make!” Kagerer said of the decision to share the design.
As seen in the image above, Kagerer includes all of the parts necessary to build the BabyForm2 3D printer with the least amount of work and materials. Some components of the 3D printer are more difficult to create and sensitive to base compression. Components such as the logo, glass screen and other delicate parts have to be 3D printed with caution, Kagerer explained.
“To minimize post-processing work, almost everything prints directly on the build platform, without supports. Some of the parts are more sensitive to base compression than others. Some tolerance is baked in, but if you find they aren’t the right thickness and don’t fit together correctly, you may need to tweak the Solidworks files for your printer / build platform / tray,” noted Kagerer.
Some parts including the base and the lid require glue and paperclips but other than those two parts, the rest of the mini 3D printer can be assembled and detached easily and relatively simply.
For 3D printing enthusiasts who own a Formlabs printer, or just for those who love them, the tutorial from Kagerer allows for a guided project to print a new 3D printer as a fun, interactive desktop decoration. You can check out more images of the BabyForm2’s photoshoot here for a closer look at Kagerer’s build, and here for the full guide on creating your own BabyForm2.
Do you think you’ll print your own BabyForm2? Let us know in the BabyForm2 forum thread at 3DPB.com.[Images: Richard Kagerer via Formlabs]