Whimsical Solder Stand Moonlights As Toy 3D Printer

A few Lego pieces provide key functionality, like an articulated dispenser head.

Most of us have bent a length of solder into a more convenient shape and angle when soldering, and just sort of pushed the soldering iron and work piece into the hanging solder instead of breaking out a third hand. Well, [yukseltemiz] seems to have decided that a solder dispenser and a miniature 3D printer model can have a lot in common, and created a 1/5 scale Ender 3 printer model that acts as a solder stand and dispenser. The solder spool hangs where the filament roll would go, and the solder itself is dispensed through the “print head”.

It’s cute, and we do like the way that [yukseltemiz] incorporated a few Lego pieces into the build. A swivel and eyelet guides the solder off the roll and a small Lego ball and socket gives the dispenser its articulation, an important feature for bending solder to a more convenient angle for working. It makes us think that using Lego pieces right alongside more traditional hardware like M3 nuts and bolts might be an under-explored technique. You can see the unit in action in the brief assembly video, embedded below.

It’s cute, but the real utility is supporting a segment of solder for handy use. If you’d prefer some helping hands instead, we put this 3D-printed version through its paces.

[via Reddit]

12 thoughts on “Whimsical Solder Stand Moonlights As Toy 3D Printer

  1. Why it’s not a real working 3D printer? It doesn’t require much modicfication, just some heating element with insulation and fume extractor. It could print toy soldiers, although I’m not sure about their mechanical properties, because soldering wire is made of lead mixed with tin, not pure lead (smaller elements maybe would be elastic).

    1. Besides the difficulty of miniaturizing functional pieces to that degree? (hotend, heatbreak, motors, etc…)

      Solder doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t just squirt out, immediately stick to whatever is below it and solidify where it was squirted. If it “likes” the surface, such as copper it will immediately wet it. It will spread itself out, mixing with the top some microns thick layer. If it doesn’t then it will just form itself into a ball. Either way you do not get your intended shape.

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