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cathalgarvey-printable-microlathe.jpg

While small lathes are of relatively limited value in my opinion, I’ve gotta give it up to Thingiverse user cathalgarvey for designing and uploading the parts to print this motor-tool-powered, printable micro-lathe. Would love to see some video of it in operation!

More from cathalgarvey:

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. Stunmonkey says:

    While I give props to the idea (I do find small lathes useful!), people tend to be a little stuck on “printable” everything as a solution to every problem.

    This could have been made more quickly, cheaply, safely, sturdily, and infinitely more functional with a few standard off the shelf plumbing parts from a hardware store.

    I think printable stuff is cool, but it seems to be more of a solution looking for a problem than the other way around. Things like this project are unsuited to, and in this case very likely downright unsafe, when made from printable materials.

  2. Cathal says:

    Your wish is my command, and I have uploaded an awful quality video just now to Youtube:

    With a picture of the dowel when I was finished: http://www.twitpic.com/y8jnl

    As to the above comment from Stunmonkey, I can totally understand your reservations. I realise that this can be made using alternate means, but when one must DIY one uses the means available. If I have a 3d printer that can precisely create the shape and form I want with tight tolerances in tough plastic, why fool around with plumbing supplies?

    Besides, the point wasn’t so much the object itself as the point that 3D printing can be a self-accelerating technology, by producing tools that expand the users’ capabilities with minimal effort. Whatever objections you might raise, Microlathe worked on its first draft, which is to me a very satisfying outcome. The Second draft will be even better.

    To those interested: Microlathe will be developed further, and good ways to follow this progress are either following me on Twitter (@onetruecathal) or checking back on the Thingiverse page now and then.

    Thanks to Sean for the coverage!