by muzz64, published

Minisaurs by muzz64 Aug 11, 2017


Minisaurs are great fun and have a powerful bite with jaws that snap shut!

Well printed Minisaurs have jaws that will snap closed when you hold the tail and flick the legs and are great little helpers around home and / or in the workshop or office as a peg / clip / clamp. They have a huge bite relative to their size!

At standard scale Minisaurs will print at 75mm long... so are really small. This makes them just the right size to use as a fun key fob that can even be clipped onto things to hold your keys up. Well set up / precise machines will print Minisaurs well at this size and hey should be free to bite and snap their jaws straight off the build plate. If not, uniformly scale the Minisaur's file up a small amount (which will increase clearances) and the jaws will be free to move. If in doubt scale up uniformly by 5 - 10%... it will still be a small print.

Scale them up!

The posted file is the smallest size recommended for printing.... and they scale up great. 125...150...200% all work really well and the bigger you print them the stronger the bite and louder they snap their jaws. Make sure you always scale uniformly.

Minisaurs are a fully enclosed print that has an internal spring section. To make the spring action 'snap' use higher than usual shells and infill. At standard scale 3 shells / 35% or more infill is recommended. As you increase the size infill can be reduced.

Great fun to fidget with yourself... make the jaws snap... useful as a clip / clamp / peg... and also a novel gift.

Print in your favourite colors... and print lots. The Minisaur age has begun!

Refer to the print settings and images for additional information. And please post photos of your Minisaurs for other members to see.

Note: If you like this check out he rest of my fun and practical designs.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:








Standard / 0.20mm


PLA / 3 Shells / 35% or more infill at standard scale. Reduce when scaled up.


Minisaurs are an easy print...Raft is recommended but do not use automated support as it is likely to stop the jaws from moving and you won't be able to remove it. As long as your machine is well set up / precise, has a filament fan and bridges well you should be able to print Minisuars without any issues an they will come off the build plate with jaws that snap closed (Remove raft and flick the legs while holding the tail).


Just remove the Raft and start snapping the jaws and biting things!

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I like the look, but when i printed it the legs and jar are moving, but doesnt spring back... it shouldbe this way ?

Sorry to hear your having trouble with my Minisaurs print. No they shouldn't be this way. If they are well printed the jaws will be springy when you flick the legs... they snap closed. This suggests a few possibilities:

(1) Your slicer is not seeing the spring part designed internally. If the print file generated does not include this the jaw will rotate and be floppy, not springy.

(2) Your machine does not 'bridge' well. This is essential to build the internal spring that runs inside from the back of the tail to the hip area. For good bridging you need PLA and an effective filament cooling fan.

(3) Filament can make a lot of difference... more than most people realise. There is lots of low quality filament out there that don't deal with things like this well.

I hope this helps. All the best.

Muzz64, love your design! Question, have you ever thought about maybe adding a plastic spring to the design in the belly of the Rex to add more tension to the bite even more than the spring effect or lever effect of the tail, leg and jaw assembly.

Hi Chris

Thanks for your feedback and I'm pleased to hear you like my designs. I tried several different plastic spring locations / methods when developing this and settled on the version as posted. Well printed files should result in jaws that snap and the spring movement is limited so ensure there is next to no chance it will break during use (PLA is brittle and will crack when bent too far).

The spring extends from near the back of the tail... joins the leg/hip then extends from the other side of the leg/hip on to the lower jaw. It needs length in the spring component to achieve enough flex so it bites / snaps. When I tried alternatives with less length in the spring and/of other configurations the result simply wasn't as good.

My prints all have a definite 'snap' to the jaw action if you hold the Minisaur by the tail and flick the leg... scaled up 120% helps as well compared to the standard scale (...but many people on here like small prints).

Comments deleted.

Why do you recommend a raft?
Considering you print in pla, I don't see a benefit in printing with a raft.

Up to you but I usually recommend it as some users report damaging their prints when removing them from the build plate if they don't use it. A good (well sliced / set-up) Raft should allow far easier removal of the print off the build plate plus easy removal of the model from the Raft. Mine is like that and the base surface is usually still pretty good as well.

If you're confident about getting your print off the build plate undamaged without Raft than do it...

All the best!

Oh that explains.
I have never trouble with object removal. I print on aluminum with hair spray and after the print I put the plate in the freezer. Always pops off with no damage!

I print on glass without any glue or spray and when it cools down, it pops of from itself.

Also with abs?
I use kapton foil on top of the alu plate.
I have different top plates for abs or pla.

I print on glass with PLA, PETG and ABS. Works for all materials. WIth ABS sometimes it could be, that a corner gets a little bit rounded, but it sticks pretty well. YOu need a heated bed of course, for all materials if you just print on glass with no additional glue.

PLA will make it snap better but it should be okay with ABS as long as your machine bridges well... the should work out well.

All the best

Brilliant Muzz. Love this evolution and look forward to the next! Brilliant use of the legs.

Thanks... as I'm sure you've seen I already had my Z-Rex design but this works in a completely different way and allows it to have a better bite and jaws that really snap when flicked right... and the body is fully enclosed. From my point of view a significant improvement.

Someday you'll have to reveal the Magic you use for designing these things!
I took a look at the layers in S3D and theirs some interesting things going on with the jaw mechanism. :)
Pretty awesome!!!
Thanks for another great design!

Thanks... pleased you like my latest things that bite!

Yet another terrific and fun design from muzz! The kids are going to love these. Appreciate the excellent and humorous pictures you post with your designs.

Cheers for muzz :)