Small Part Stress Test
While printing a small object may not sound like much of a stress test, it is in fact much harder to accomplish than a larger object. This is because any calibration that is off, including misaligned parts, will show here. On larger-scale objects, the minute flaws may be amplified enough that they actually work themselves out or become so diluted that they are invisible.
To perform the small-scale test, I like to print the 5mm Calibration Cube. This is a cube that has seemingly been sheered in half on the diagonal in 5mm x 5mm x 5mm steps. This is an excellent print to test consistency on each axis, as well as overall performance on the small scale. The overall size of the cube is 25mm square, but halved.
The second test I perform is the Small Cityscape print. This print features several complex shapes, including a cone, sphere, toroid, and cube. This print gives us key insight into how well the printer performs with very small-scale objects. The overall size of this object is 25mm square by about 13mm high.
Here we can see that the Ord Bot Hadron was able to handle the 5mm Stepped Cube rather nicely. This is a challenging print for PLA as the layers have little time to cool once the cube nears its top. Usually printers need a fan on the nozzle when attempting this print in PLA, but the Ord Bot Hadron fared well. The surface layer is stretched a little thin, but that is quite common on single layer surfaces with PLA. There is a little bulging in areas that stayed a little too warm before the next layer, but the part is functional and very accurate in size.
Here is another angle that shows some slight bulging, but for a 5mm Stepped Cube Print, this is quite good. Surface quality is nice as well. It looks much worse than it actually is due to the image being so large. You can also see that the Ord Bot Hadron managed the 5mm bridge flawlessly.
When it comes to accuracy on small parts, the Ord Bot Hadron is spot on, with the 5mm Stepped Cube being only 0.03mm over specified 25mm size. This is one of the most accurate 3D printers I have ever used, with most being within 0.5mm of their targeted dimension.
Taking the accuracy even further, when measuring the small cubed steps on the vertical, we find that the Ord Bot Hadron is within 0.17mm of being spot on the desired 5mm height for each step. This is most likely a rounding error in Slic3r that is combined with the layer height limit of 0.20mm that I setup in Slic3r and thus unavoidable.
This is where things get a little sloppy, but I consider the Cityscape Print a success. While these objects appear to be messy and full of flaws, this is actually a good print job. I printed this Cityscape with the settings relatively fast for the small size of this object, and for the most part, the Ord Bot Hadron handled the issues well. This was the first print after changing colors, and a lot of the gaps are from air that was trapped in the nozzle at the beginning of the new color.
Keep in mind that the sphere pictured here is about 4mm in diameter and is why you can clearly see the direction changes in the axis appearing on it. The small hole in the top of the cylinder is less than 1mm wide, and the cone taper is uniform and, for the most part, smooth when compared to its small size. Overall, the Ord Bot handles itself well when printing small objects.