Have a 3D printer, will travel

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

As you can imagine, this won’t give you maximum build volume. The folded dimensions of the printer are 220x210x75mm. The build plate is quite small at 120x114x144mm. However, it has a heated bed and an LCD screen. One note though: you need an external power supply that doesn’t fit in the box. However, [eponra] note that with an AC-powered bed, it would be possible to have everything in the box.

One of the reasons for the small package size is that the machine uses a cantilever instead of supporting everything. This limits the size of the bed, but makes the machine simple and easy to pack.

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

There are several videos of the machine in operation on the main project 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 one that fits in a filament box, but prints upside down. This got us wondering what is the smallest FDM printer ever built?