Christmas Ornament 3D Printer

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Every year I try to "one up" myself by designing some crazy Christmas ornament. Last year it was a Christmas ornament that could play 90s christmas commercials on your tree. This year I had another crazy idea. A very tiny SLA printer that could print even smaller Christmas ornaments. I had no idea how I was going to accomplish it, and had very little time, but I went for it anyway. Check out the video to see what I had to go through.

When I started this project, not only have I never used an SLA printer in general, I had never even been around a printer. I have a good understanding of how they work. Place resin in a resevoir, lower build plate, harden resin on to plate in a pattern, lift plate, repeat. So that was where I was going to start. A lot of low cost printers use LCD screens to mask off the UV light that will harden the resin, I figured this would be the simplest, and most inexpensive way, to build it. 

I wanted a decent resolution, but also to be very tiny. I settled on the 240x240 1.5" LCD by Adafruit. To drive it I would use a Feather M0 Datalogger(for the SD card), a TB6612 motor driver for the stepper motor(harvested from a DVD drive), and a whole bunch of 3D printed parts.

I also designed a custom PCB to hold the UV LEDs under the, and connect to, the display. 

Once it was all assembled, I ran into an issue where the prints were not sticking to my PLA built plate. I discovered that most used anodized aluminum, I decided to try and glue a piece of aluminum to the bottom and drill some holes in it (to allow the resin to flow easier). I was amazed at how well it sticks to the aluminum!

On the second print I was able to print this tiny Youtube Play Button!

And after a bunch of failed prints(still working out the bugs) I was able to get this awesome snow flake!

I was doubting the possibility of this project for the beginning, but as soon as I saw those first stuck layers to the build plate, it all turned around. I'm really happy with the result and I can't wait to continue to improve this - although it may not stay in Christmas ornament shape!

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I heard you like Christmas ornaments so I 3D printed a Christmas ornament 3D printer that 3D prints Christmas ornaments.
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Creation Date: 
Tuesday, December 25, 2018 - 00:55

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