Printing Jewelry Prototypes On a Lulzbot Mini

Has anyone attempted, or has been successful in printing small items like pendants and rings using the Lulzbot Mini? If so, how was the quality? I am also purchasing a DLP resin printer for this, but it would be nice to print good quality prototypes with the MIni I just ordered.

Thanks for your input and if you have any tips for printing such items in high quality, please share them…

Cheers,
Tony

Hi!

Disclaimer: I have my Mini only for less than a week;, and know nothing about jewelry.

But I was also interested to see if small parts can be printed and if the resolution can be increased compared to the standard “fine” profiles in Cura.

I had success loading the Expert profiles provided by LulzBot, reducing layer height to 0.1mm and the outer layer speed to 15mm/s. The surface smoothness improved drastically.


(Click to view full size image)

The head is a Wolverine head from Thingiverse, scaled down to roughly 25mm height. Printed with HIPS. Left side is the standard “fine” profile, right with 0.1mm layer height and reduced outer shell speeds.
Note that the figures were oriented differently when printing: the left one was laying on its back with support, the right standing on its neck (hence the nose overhang not printing well).
Print time goes up of course: 43 min for the left head, 1 hour 9 min for the one on the right.

However, I found that Cura does not slice very thin parts. If a part is thinner than approx 1mm it just disappears, i.e. it does not get printed. Everything looks fine in the “normal” view, but when you look at the “layers” view the thin areas are gone.
I am currently looking into Slic3r as alternative, but haven’t had time to that one going yet.

Please share your findings!

reference… pretty sure it has to do with the nozzle size setting in CURA… .5 noz will only recognize down to about .025".

https://forum.lulzbot.com/t/mini-not-printing-built-in-support/1337/1

A 0.2mm nozzle will make some pretty small parts cleanly. With a little practice there is no reason that you wouldn’t be able to make a smooth part like this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38896/#instructions
The biggest obstacles I would think you’ll run into are ooze or stringiness and warpage but there are plenty of plastics and setups that can over come these issues.

The Mini will feature a build envelope of 6″ x 6″ x 6″, while sporting a sturdy powder coated aluminum frame. Additionally, the new machine will feature an all new metal hot end which is capable of reaching temperatures of up to 300°C (572°F).

I’ve achieved good results at .08mm layer height with a .25 nozzle. This is a photo of the rook which is often used to demonstrate the resolution of resin printers. It’s 1" tall printed in ABS. Note, this is on a Kittaz upgraded to the Taz 5.



I am currently printing the same rook in PetG. It’s about half way through the 1hr 30min print and it looks better than the ABS version.
I also found a place called Machinablewax.com. They carry a true wax filament that you could use for lost wax casting with a print temp of about 130. It took some time to get the settings tweeked, and the biggest issue was bed adhesion. That problem was finally solved by the use of hairspray. I tried Moldlay, but it’s really not much lower temp than PLA, and my local foundry was not keen on the idea of trying it.

Scott

One other point. If you are going to print at this fine a detail, I would suggest looking into using Simplify3D. One of the really cool features is to have different profiles that can start and stop at specific heights. I use this on larger prints that I still want fine detail on the top face. I’ll print the lower layers which in my final product will not be seen, at .2mm layer height. Then switch to .08 to finish off the print at higher resolution. I also really like and make use of the custom supports. I still wish there was a little more flexibility in the custom support settings, but compared to not having any control over supports, it’s a major feature. Also, it can print thinner details than Cura.