Tinyboy assembled

Chief Designer Parker Leung and team members Ben Lau and Henry Law believe "less is more" when it comes to designing an entry-level open source 3D printer.

Enter Tinyboy, a machine which the trio say meets their desire for a small, easy to build, affordable 3D printing machine to help students and newbies learn 3D modeling and printing technology.

"The process of making has the opportunity to transform education by inviting students to be something other than consumers of education," Leung said. "They can be makers of anything, moving from being directed to self-directed through the process."

TinyBoy, at just 15 x 15 x 22 cm, is smaller than most 2D printer paper and aimed at comfortably fitting on the smallest computer desk.

Tinyboy with filament holderWhile the maximum size of objects printed on a Tinyboy is a miniscule 8.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 cm, the developers say that's large enough for making things like figurines and small toys.

So what do you get by going minute? Low cost of materials and maintenance.

Made from acrylic sheets and connected by easy to find metal screws, the cost of making your own Tinyboy comes in at a budget-friendly $130.

Designed to be easy to construct, the entire Tinyboy kit can be assembled with a screw driver.

The case of the Tinyboy can be created via laser cutter and the entire layout plan can be set up on an A5-sized template. When you stop to consider that you can purchase a laser cutter for as little as $400, it's plausible that you could make a whole fleet of Tinyboys very cheaply indeed.

The developers say they'll be opening the project up and providing a bill of materials within the next couple of weeks.

Tinyboy Specifications:

  • Size: 15cm(W) x 15cm(D) x 22cm(H) (excluding the filament holder)
  • Final Printed Object Size: 8.5cm x 8.5cm x 8.5cm
  • Hotend: 1.75mm filament / 0.4mm