We’ve seen some amazing 3D-printed things these days. From sonic art installations to human noses ready for transplant, the 3D printers of today know no bounds. At first, it seemed the trend in 3D printing was to go bigger and better. Companies were dreaming big and creating 3D printed houses. Now, 3D-printing is going the opposite direction as makers are creating tiny objects to showcase their skill. Introducing the world’s tiniest drill, engineered using CAD and a 3D printer by Lance Abernathy, who hails all the way from New Zealand.
Abernathy used an Ultimaker 2 3D printer to make this pint-sized drill. Of course using the tiniest components the Ultimaker 2 had to offer, he used a .25 mm nozzle that could generate precise amounts of material. Abernathy says the key was printing slowly to ensure precision. He printed very slowly, using a layer height of only .04 mm! At this rate, it took him 25 minutes to print body of the tiny drill.
This little guy isn’t just mechanical, its electric too! Using a small hearing aid battery, he created a power source for the tiny motor. The wiring was stripped from headphone cables and hand-soldered. If you look at the cutaway view of the tiny drill, you can see how tightly packed the wiring is in such a small encasement. Abernathy says that it took him over 3 hours just to solder and fit the parts inside the plastic housing.
The finished product measures 17 mm by 13 mm, and it’s only 7.5mm wide. The tiny .5 mm twist drill is the size of mechanical pencil lead, and can drill through soft things, like foam and modeling clay.