Have 3D Printer, Will Travel

We keep hearing that the desktop computer is dying — everyone wants a mobile device like a laptop, a tablet, or a big horkin’ phone. We suppose [eponra] wants the same thing for 3D printers, since he’s provided plans for “flatpack” a portable 3D printer that can fit in a spool box.

As you might imagine, this isn’t going to give you maximum build volume. The printer’s folded down dimensions are 220x210x75mm. The build plate is fairly small at 120x114x144mm. However, it does have a heated bed and an LCD display. One note, though: you do need an external power supply that does not fit in the box. However, [eponra] notes that with an AC-powered bed, it would be possible to get everything in the box.

One reason for the small packing size is that the machine uses a cantilever instead of supporting everything across. This puts a limit on bed size, but does make the machine simple and helps with the packing.

The goal is to have all the 3D printed parts printed by another flatpack. Today, the XY joiner is apparently difficult to print and can’t be printed on an existing flatpack printer, anyway. Other limitations include the lack of a spool holder and several improvements across the various versions (the current version is version 6).

There are several videos of the machine in operation on the project’s main page. It reminds us a lot of a Printrbot Simple, if that printer had been made today. Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen portable printers before, including another one that fits in a filament box, but prints upside down. It made us wonder what’s the smallest FDM printer ever built?

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