Hackaday Prize Entry: 3D Printed Mini-Lathe

Lathes can be big, powerful, dangerous machines. But sometimes there’s a call for making very small parts out of soft materials, like plastic and wood. For jobs like this, you could use something like this 3D printed mini-lathe.

The benefits of 3D printing a tool like this are plentiful. The design can be customized and refined by the end user; [castvee8] notes that the machine can be made longer simply by increasing the length of the lead screw and guide rails. The machine does rely on some metal parts and a motor; but the real power here is that if you can’t source the exact components, you can always customize the files to suit what you have on hand.

[castvee8] aimed to make the entire build as easy as possible for the novice – even the motor and speed controller are off-the-shelf modules. It’s a testament to the golden age we live in that an entire lathe can be built out of modules and 3D printed parts. The project makes up another member of the family of 3D printed tools [castvee8] is showing off on Hackaday.io.

20 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: 3D Printed Mini-Lathe

    1. It seems like it would be good for finishing and refining wheels, like those used on some v-slot frame printers like the C/D-Bot. The existing solution from OpenBuilds uses small delrin wheels with bearings inside, and I’ve seen a few people try to 3d print the wheels. The problem is always the seams and ridges that FDM has, and this could fix that issue!

  1. Main site lead article:
    “Counterfeit Hardware May Lead To Malware and Failure”
    First article on the blog:
    “Hackaday Prize Entry: 3D Printed Mini-Lathe”

    Can’t say you weren’t warned eh :)

      1. The whole thing in itself, it’s not ‘made to specs’ obviously.
        And a lathe is spinning at speed while having force applied to it.
        There is a reason they are made from sturdy stuff.
        And I for me would be hesitant with using 3D printed stuff for quite a few things due to material strength uncertainty. Although I do admit I use some not-so-precise Chinese stuff too, which might equally not be up to all standards. but I do with a tinge of concern and some initial care to see if it might fail.

        Anyway, I was merely amused by the coincidence of the two headlines coming right after each other. I’m sure people are aware of risks and where to look out for in general and I don’t mind the project and encourage people to expand on it, report weak points, come with fixes if they find any and all that.

  2. Nephew bought same (or similar) motor controller to drive radar antennas. Should not use these controllers for much over 3A continuous; otherwise consider Bergquist pads between transistors and heat sinks and a fan.

    1. I had concerns about the ratings given for the controller but in this case the motor draws about an amp during normal operation and the lathe is powered by a 12 volt 1500ma wall wart. Should be ok……has for the testing and part making I have done so far. Nothing really even gets warm.

    1. Not a chuck at all shown in the photo-workholders(wood collets) made for standard stock sizes which can be quickly changed as needed, or printed as required. Chuck option details shown in the project description and logs.

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