Tag Archives: Ultimaker 2

Maker 3D prints the world’s tiniest working circular saw

Lance Abernethy has 3D printed a fully-functional saw that’s no larger than your thumbnail.

Last year, Lance Abernethy 3D printed a mini, fully-functional cordless drill. But why stop there? The New Zealand-based Maker has now added another tiny tool to his collection: a fingernail-sized circular saw.


Abernethy designed each of the saw’s four components — two body pieces, a saw guard and a blade holder — using Onshape CAD software and printed them out on his ATmega2560 driven Ultimaker 2 machine. The itty bitty parts were made of PLA at a layer height of 21-40 microns and shell thickness of 0.5mm. The printing process itself took just under an hour to complete.

Not unlike its brethren, the circular saw is powered by a small hearing aid battery and starts working at the press of a button its handle.


While the wee saw may not be powerful enough to cut through anything (other than tearing a piece of paper, maybe), the Maker does hope to make another iteration that has a bit more oomph to rip through small pieces of wood, in addition to creating other equipment that would fit inside his miniature toolbox (or what he calls “little brief cases”).

[h/t 3DPrint.com]

Artists bring an animation to life with 3D printing

A group of designers have animated an adventure of 100 frames and froze it into a 3D-printed installation. 

Nearly 20 years agoToy Story became the first-ever feature-length, computer-animated film. Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, the movie followed a group of anthropomorphic toys who pretend to be lifeless whenever humans are present, and focuses on the relationship between a pull string cowboy doll and an astronaut action figure. After after seeing a mesmerizing installation from Dutch design studio Job, Joris & Marieke, and given recent advancements in additive manufacturing, we couldn’t help but wonder when the first 3D-printed animated flick will hit theaters?


Using just an Ultimaker 2 printer along with some glue and string, the Netherlands-based artist trio created a brief loop as part of an entirely 3D-printed sequence. The artists then took the digitally animated short that they had on video and showed what every frame would look like using actual figures, packing all 100 frames into a mise-en-scène.


At a glance, viewers can see a character emerge from a piece of paper and run over a table inside a room that resembles the Job, Joris & Marieke studio. He proceeds to push a bouncing ball off the tabletop along with shattering a cup, not long before he eventually jumps into a preserving jar on a shelf. Each of these were reproduced in PVC.


“The whole animation is made in CGI, and we used a 3D printer to print each frame. The result is a weird string of characters in different poses. This explains the principles of animation beautifully, without a single bit actually moving. It is a static installation: a frozen movement. If you look closely, you can figure out what happened on that table,” its creators explain. “No one knows why he’s in such a rush. All we know is that he doesn’t want to be recognized…”

The aptly-dubbed piece, FREEZE! An Adventure in 100 Frames,” will be on display at Amersfoort’s Kunsthal Museum as part of the MOVE ON…! exhibition, which debuts on March 29th and runs through May 10th.

Playing NES games on a PS4 thanks to 3D printing

Who could forget the days of NES? This 3D-printed project will surely spark up some ‘90s gaming nostalgia. 

For those of us who grew up in the ‘90s, who could forget the days of slipping in those grey game cartridges into your Nintendo Entertainment System? Even more so, remember taking out the cartridge when it wouldn’t work, blowing on its contacts and inserting it back in?


Now decades later, it’s safe to say that the gaming industry has changed quite a bit. The systems, the graphics, the controls, the plots. However, for those looking for some nostalgia, you’ll appreciate the latest project from Frank Zhao who has used 3D printing to reminisce those good ol’ years. That’s because the Maker has managed to bring today’s PS4 games — such as Grand Theft Auto V, The Crew and Need for Speed Rivals — back in time to the NES era.

With the help of his AVR based Ultimaker 3D printer, Zhao was able to craft some cartridges, while designed a few custom labels on a 2D printer. And while on its surface, it may appear to be just any other NES casing, the games can actually run on the latest PlayStation system. When these cartridges are popped into a custom 3D-printed drive that devised for his PS4, the games are entirely playable as if you took a trip back to the ‘90s with some modern-day action.

With just a little engineering to reconfigure the electrical components, he was good to go. The internals of each game cartridge consisted of a 2.5″ hard drive, which is of course where Zhao uploads the game. In order for hard drive to be readable by the PS4, Zhao had to place a SATA connector attachment inside the cartridge that would link to the PS4 console.

“Adding a hard drive to the PS4 using SATA extensions isn’t a new idea at all, somebody already added 6 TB to it, using a 3.5″ drive, but he used a external enclosure and a external 12 volt power supply,” Zhao writes. However, 3.5″ drives would have required an external 12V power supply, while 2.5″ drives simply called for the 5V from the motherboard.

Yet, when it came to actually connecting the SATA cable to the motherboard, the Maker learned rather quickly that it wasn’t the simplest thing to do. In fact, Zhao says that it “was actually pretty hard. I ended up gluing a popsicle stick to the connector first, and then used the stick to poke the connector inside and into the motherboard’s connector. This can be improved by some sort of 3D printed dummy drive, but I got tired and wanted to wrap the project up.”

It should also be noted that the dimensions of the fake NES cartridge used in the project are not the same as the old-school casings. Therefore, authentic NES cartridges will not fit in this project, and the 3D-printed pieces will not slip inside a genuine NES deck.

Interested? You can learn all about the build, as well as access its files here.