Is This the World’s Smallest 3D Printed Car? (With Moving Doors & Wheels)

Car Model 3D printed in 16 micron resolution on the Objet Eden 3D printer

This week I received an unexpected surprise from my good friend David Sun. David is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at  Iris International in California, who first brought us the concept of the ‘tiny 3D printed car’ which I posted on this blog around 6 months ago along with this quite unusual video clip. The original car model featured revolving wheels and was created on his company’s Objet Eden 3D printer down to a size that fit comfortably on my finger nail!

Since then David has been busy building an advanced version of the same car model – this time with moving hinges that allow the doors to open and close! The challenge, now as then, was to see how small he could print the car while still enabling the wheels to revolve and the doors to open.

He has kindly sent me the photos above and at the end of this post.  As you can see, the car has been printed down to 1.5cm in length – and fantastically – the tiny .015″ pins on the doors still work fine. The Objet 3D printer was able to print a ring with a wall thickness of only .0056″ (.14mm) Wow!

I’ve promised David that we’ll now try to print this same car model on the Objet Connex Multi-Material 3D Printer to see what it looks like in multiple materials which would include different colors for the doors and rubber-like tires on those tiny wheels! Stay tuned to the Objet blog for more on this story coming really soon. I’ll also try to video the results!

This post is also available in: Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil)


  • Anders
    Jun 4, 2012 9:19 AM

    I wish there were CAD drawings available (adapted for 3D printing) for all modern cars, so I could make replicas of any car I’d like. That could also be a way to rejuvenate plastic models (think Airfix etc): To provide “out of print” models as CAD drawings for 3D printing.

    • Eirik FS (@Eirik_FS)
      Jun 4, 2012 9:19 AM

      Some tv show tried to make a snowboard, but they had to patch/weld the pieces together. If you want to make a 3D printer capable of making whole cars, that would be more expensive then buying a new Aston Martin.

      • Anders Borg
        Jun 4, 2012 9:19 AM

        I meant miniatures.

      • Valdemar Carlsson
        Jun 4, 2012 9:19 AM

        That was the Signals, Every Third Thursday show. All episodes on youtube.

  • bobshepton
    Jun 4, 2012 9:19 AM

    I’m just waiting for the day when someone prints a fully working 3D printer !

  • Anders
    Jun 4, 2012 9:19 AM

    I guess you read about Boeing that will use 3D printers for spare parts. The right way to go.

    On a Mars trip it will most likely be a requirement, for metal, ceramics, plastics and likely also bio.

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