3D printing has shown that it is the perfect technology to use when wishing to create something unique, whether it is a piece of jewelry, a keepsake, or even a house or car. The technology, unlike that of more traditional means of manufacturing, is an affordable way of creating one-of-a-kind products, and is one of the reasons I love covering the industry. There is always something new to report on, and today is no different.
Lance Abernethy is an ordinary man from Auckland, New Zealand. He works as a maintenance engineer, fixing machinery in a factory. However, the idea that recently popped into his head was not ordinary at all.
“I have always liked small things and have created small items since I was a little kid,” Abernethy tells 3DPrint.com. “I was with my work colleagues and was talking about mythical stories about one country making a twist drill and sending it to another. The other country returned it with a hole through the middle. Things like this easily challenge me and my idea was born.”
That idea was to create the world’s smallest working drill, and he would do this using his Ultimaker 2 3D printer. To start off, he used a CAD software package called Onshape 3D. He drew the outer shell of the drill, using his “normal” size drill as a reference.
“I wanted to make it as small as possible so I cramped all my parts as tight as possible,” Abernethy tells us.
Once he had the design just the way he wanted it, he 3D printed it on his Ultimaker 2, using a 0.25mm nozzle and a 0.04mm layer height. He also set his printer to print very slowly, at just 10mm per second. Printed without any support, the 3-piece drill took about 25 minutes to completely print out. The drill consists of two halves plus a 3D printed chuck which is pressed onto the motor shaft. Abernethy uses a hearing aid battery for power, a small button, and a miniature motor. For wiring, he stripped out a headphone cable. While 3D printing was really quite easy, assembling the drill was another story.
“It took me 3 hours to solder and try and squeeze [all the parts] in,” he tells us. “The wires kept breaking off when I was trying to connect them and it was a nightmare trying to hold them in place and try to not short the battery.”
“I have seen claims of the world’s smallest cordless drill and I know mine is smaller but it’s not a confirmed claim,” Abernethy tells us.
What’s next for Abernethy? He wants to make an even smaller drill, using a smaller battery that he has already found. It should be interesting to see how small he can get it. What do you think about this incredibly small 3D printed drill? Discuss in the 3D printed drill forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the drill below.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs, July 31, 2021: Student Racing and More
We’re covering a software release and new composite materials in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by 3D printing used in Formula Student racing, to make metrology components, and to...
3D Printing News Briefs, July 24, 2021: GoProto, Parmatech, 3DEO, & MPIF, 6K, Chris Borge, 3DQue, ORNL
In this edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting with some business, as GoProto ANZ has announced an important industry certification, and then Parmatech, 3DEO, and 6K have each...
Markforged Completes SPAC Merger and Begins Trading on NYSE
Markforged officially began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on July 15, 2021, under the ticker symbol MKFG. The industrial 3D printing manufacturer went public by merging with...
Continuous Composites Sues Markforged for Continuous Fiber 3D Printing
Every industry is ripe with lawsuits, but when the niche is as competitive as it is in 3D printing, we’re bound to see companies taken to court. This may be...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.