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Kiwi man Lance Abernethy 3D prints the world's smallest functional circular saw
Posted by 3DP4E

By Alec |

There are plenty of examples out there that remind us that 3D printed objects can take any size or shape that we’d like, but few are as inspiring as the world’s smallest 3D printed working drill that one engineer from Auckland, New Zealand shared with the world a few months ago. And now Lance Abernethy is back for more, with a new addition to his mini workshop: the world’s smallest functional and 3D printed circular saw.

Just like its illustrious predecessor, this miniature circular saw reminds us that a 3D printer can be used to make anything we’d like – big or small. And like its predecessor, this circular saw was built through a desire to do something unusual.

'I’m a Maintenance engineer from Auckland, New Zealand,’ Lance told us. ‘I was with my work colleagues and talking about mythical stories about one country making a twist drill and sending it to another. the other country returned it with a hole through the middle. Things like this easily challenge me into something and the idea was born.’

– Lance Abernethy

At the time, he warned us that more was coming and he has definitely delivered with this somewhat more challenging project. This fun little circular saw took about three whole afternoons from start to finish, but was a very fun project to work on.

‘To design it I used Onshape, a really awesome software with regular updates and great tutorials,’ he says.

– Lance Abernethy

What Lance came up with, was a four part design, featuring two sides of the main housing, as well as a blade guard and a blade holder. All were 3D printed on his Ultimaker 2 3D printer in PLA material.

‘It's printed with a 0.25mm jet nozzle using the Olsson block upgrade from and 0.04mm layer height,’ he explains to

– Lance Abernethy

With a shell thickness of 0.5 mm, total printing time was less than an hour.

But while most of our builds can rely on off-the-shelf motors, wires and Arduinos, Lance had to be far more inventive to power this band saw. In the end, he settled on a miniature motor, a simple button system, and a hearing aid battery to power them.

‘Post processing was just welding the bits together using a hot blade,’ he adds.

– Lance Abernethy

So does it work? Well you can check it out in the clip below, but unfortunately Lance hasn’t shown it actually cutting a piece of wood or anything. It would be very surprising if it actually was able to do something like that (our money is on the blade stalling almost immediately), so this circular saw is probably best put in the category of fun and inspiring 3D printed trinkets. Lance, meanwhile, is already looking towards a couple of other (miniature) 3D printing projects, so we will doubtlessly hear more from him in the near future.


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Posted on July 1, 2014

By Brian Krassenstein |