TinyMaker, the Open-Source Resin 3D Printer That Fits in the Palm of Your Hand
While the current trend is towards large-format 3D printers, some players seem to want to stand out from the crowd and offer just the opposite. Such is the case with TinyMaker, the brand behind one of the smallest resin 3D printers on the market. It fits in the palm of your hand and can be carried anywhere, with the aim of bringing the benefits of 3D printing to as many people as possible. The only question is what this little machine will really be used for, and whether the manufacturer’s promises on crowdfunding platforms will be kept. The TinyMaker is said to be available for around 110 euros, with deliveries scheduled to start in February. So far, it seems that the manufacturer has fallen behind schedule. So is this little resin 3D printer a real innovation, or just a passing trend to be wary of?
This isn’t the first time we’ve presented you with a 3D printer of surprising size: remember the Pluto or the My N Mi project, a machine no bigger than a match. Naturally, this type of solution comes as a surprise, as the market is used to seeing machines that focus on larger print volumes, high speeds and proven repeatability. In the case of TinyMaker, it’s all about making 3D printing even more accessible and being able to start printing wherever you are. It took two years of development and several prototypes to find the right design and functionality.
Taking a Closer Look at the TinyMaker
The 3D printer is very compact, measuring 100 x 115 x 155 mm and weighing 600 grams. It consumes very little power, and users can connect it to an external battery for operation. The printing plate is limited in size to 30.6 x 40.8 x 60 mm, with a layer thickness of between 0.05 and 0.1 mm. Note that the little resin 3D printer is open-source and could therefore benefit from modifications made by the user community. Finally, in terms of technology, the TinyMaker uses MSLA (Masked Stereo-Lithography Apparatuses) technology and therefore uses an LCD screen to mask the UV light source.
The brand has also developed post-processing solutions that are as compact as the machine itself. These include a cleaning solution and a heat treatment machine for just thirty dollars. Everything has been designed to be easily transportable and, once again, usable anywhere. It remains to be seen whether the results are satisfactory; can the part be properly cleaned and free of all its supports? That seems doubtful.
And with good reason – on the Kickstarter and Indiegogo platforms, the target has been more than met – or even exceeded. The problem lies in the delivery of the machines, scheduled for February 2023 on Kickstarter and April 2023 on Indiegogo. A visit to the respective sites reveals that the Kickstarter was launched several months ago and redirects to the Indiegogo campaign, which is still open. So we’re a little skeptical about the seriousness of this campaign – is TinyMaker still raising funds even though it has more than reached its initial goal? What about the production and delivery of the machines? Yet the images and videos shared seem promising. That’s the inherent danger of crowdfunding platform projects, and 3D printing is no exception.
The buzz around TinyMaker is still worth sharing because the concept is interesting and shows that 3D technology can be more accessible and open to the greatest number of people. We still have our reservations about the volume of parts and their quality, but for a machine costing less than 150 euros, we can’t be too demanding. To learn more, you can find the manufacturer’s campaign HERE.
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*All Photo Credits: TinyMaker