Finishing A Mini PS One: SLA vs Extruded

One of the biggest lessons learned by first time 3D printer users is that not everything can be replicated and a printer is a machine and not a miracle worker. It has limitations in terms of what it can print as well as the quality of the output. For teeny tiny objects, the 0.8 mm nozzle will just not do and with resin printers on the rise, the question is, ‘are extruder printers obsolete?’

[Dorison Hugo] has made a mini version of the PS One using a Raspberry Pi which you can play games one. The kicker is that in his video, he does a comparison of an SLA printer and a cheaper extruder one for his enclosure. He goes through a laundry-list of steps to print, file, fill, repair, sand paint, sand, paint etc to try to get a good model replica of the original PS One. He then proceeds to print one with an SLA printer and finishes it to compare with the first model. The decals are printed on an inkjet for those who are wondering, and there is a custom cut heatsink in there as well that was salvaged from an old PC.

Spoiler alert! The SLA wins but in our view, just slightly. The idea is that with enough elbow grease and patience, you can get pretty close to making mini models with a cheaper machine. The SLA print needs work too but it is relatively less and for detailed models, it is a much better choice. We really enjoyed watching the process from start to finish including the Dremel work, since it is something that is forgotten when we see a 3D print. Creating something of beauty takes time and effort which stems from a passion to make.

Take a look at the video below of the time lapse and for  SLA printer fans, have a look at the DIY SLA printer which is a Hackaday Prize Entry this year.

24 thoughts on “Finishing A Mini PS One: SLA vs Extruded

  1. Something I see with a lot of 3d prints is that people often try to print “all-in-one” or “print in place” even when it makes the quality of the result worse.

    in this case the buttons, controller ports and buttons should have been printed as their own parts then glued or clipped together with the base.

    This would have made the sanding easier and you could have printed the controller ports in a way that needed no plastic overhangs thus greatly enhancing quality.

      1. an old retired soldering iron is a great way of making precise holes in prints, temperature control is preferable, an added bonus is that you fuse the side walls of the hole between layers so that the chance of delamination are minimized.

      1. ah you are forgetting that there are people (like me) who are so incompetent or lack basic tools that they cannot reliably drill holes ;)
        I for instance just have the space for either a small drill press or a 3d printer. Plus you can do stuff like captive nuts really easy and repeatable. Repeat ability is really the thing here and iteration.

    1. Print in place works great when the printer is tuned and dialed in. The quality of the extrusion print was…eh…meh. I know not every printer is top of the line, and not everyone can afford the time to make a desktop extruder based 3D printer that prints like a boss. This is just an unfair example of making a case for DLP/SLA based printers. I don’t have an expensive printer and I could have easily made a print in place version of a much higher caliber. I am confident a lot of us could. Why waste ALL that time finishing the part when he could have spent that time dialing in his printer for that part. I have found that every 3D part needs unique settings, there are few settings that universally work across all prints. There just isn’t a one size fits all. This guy just needs some tweaking and some easy upgrades that he can print right on his machine. I say he needs to go for round two.

  2. By the way: No, extrusion-based printers are not obsolete and will not be obsolete for a very, very long time. If you only print trinkets, you might come to this conclusion erroneously. Extrusion-based printers offer a wide selection of usable materials for structural parts, from TPU to ABS to Polycarbonate to Nylon, which is something you can not do with most other technologies. However, they are also safe to use and unproblematic. Even without considering the aspect of price, extrusion-based printers are optimal for hobbyists. SLA needs relatively brittle resin, SLS uses dangerous powders.

    1. their use is also on the rise in professional environments, you can buy 50k usd filament printers that at first glance could be mistaken for a high quality milling station, in fact in the stratasys line there are all in one stations that can print and then machine a part as one process.

      hell there are even real production models for small part runs and complex parts not feasible with many other methods.

    2. At least professional models of SLA printers have a selection in resins including flexible ones (note: hearsay but from someone that occasionally uses a professional SLA printer at work).

  3. Interesting video, but that was a poor quality extruded print (even for a cheap printer) to start with, and the manual finishing wasn’t terribly good – it made some things worse.

    Still, it shows that in unskilled hands, SLA gives you a closer inital result. TANSTAAFL.

  4. Cheap POS FDM printer, printing in very thick layers for the size of print, in an orientation that will not exactly help with overhangs, is worse than an SLA print. Thanks, I never would’ve guessed…

  5. “For teeny tiny objects, the 0.8 mm nozzle will just not do”
    I use 0.25mm for tiny/detailed objects, 0.40mm for the average print and 0.8mm for large/strong things
    E3D now sells a 0.15mm nozzle which I have not tried yet :D

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