Surprise Egg #4 - Tiny Excavator

by agepbiz, published

Surprise Egg #4 - Tiny Excavator by agepbiz Dec 17, 2017


Stresstest your 3D Printer by printing this tiny collectable stocking stuffer.

update 01.01.17
added the file excavator_v2. Updated the cab. If you experience that the cab gets loose, use the new v2 model

Both the excavator and the egg was each designed to be printed in place without any support structures. The excavator has rotatable wheels, liftable arm and articulated bucket and rotatable body. The egg is hinged

'Making of' video:

Surprise Egg #1 - Tiny Haul Truck:

Surprise Egg #2 - Tiny Fork Lift:

Surprise Egg #3 - Tiny Wheel Loader:

Surprise Egg #5 - Tiny Fire Truck:

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YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/agepbiz

Twitter: www.twitter.com/agepbiz

Best regards

Not for children under 3 yrs.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:












3 shells


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At 0.1mm, 40% infill, the front cabin window borders keep getting completely messed up. Everything else is flawless. Any ideas?

The window frame wont get perfect, but should not get completely messed up either :p Do you have a photo of it?

Hi agepbiz.

Sure, here's a photo of multiple failures. Printer is Wanhao i3 plus. I've been printing things with really good quality.
Any help would be welcome :)

Hi, I just tried to print the excavator v2 with my ender 2 wothout any mods (my first 3d printer, I got it 4 days ago so I am a total newbie). The side on the bed it's not good whilst the rest came up fine. Any ideas?
I've been using Cura as a slicer.

Is this your first print? If not, how did the other prints come out? It kind of looks like your printbed is not calibrated correctly, that the nozzle is way to high up on the during the first layers, making the filament barely stick

see illustration:

Something like my fourth. The previous one had the same issue. As for the levelling, the hot tip has really a tight grip on the sheet of paper, moreover I printed using rafts. Does a bad levelling affects a lot even with rafts?

I suggest printing these designs without raft if possible. A raft always gives a worse first layer than printing directly on the build bed imo. I only use raft if I print big where curling might happen or if I struggle with first layer adhesion

I mounted a fan duct, set first layer height to 0.3 mm (printed at 0.1). The results are better, but not perfect (front wheels don't spin and a broken part)

The width of the wheels facing the buildplatform (the first layers) are much wider than the wheels on the other side, meaning that there is too much plastic being extruded. So either it is overextruding (are the axle stuck all the way?) or the nozzle is now too close. Try lowering your feedrate (in Simplify3D that setting is called Extrusion Multiplier, not sure what it is called in Cura). The overall surface looks very nice though!

Yes, the surface is super! Tried with the tip a little higher and 90% feedrate in cura but no luck... I stopped the print as the same small piece tore away.
I printed the egg (100% rate but noozle a little bit higher). Is this a normal result?
Thanks for your help!

Now it looks like your nozzle is to high again. The first layer is supposed to look smooth and shiny. Also I see that the eggshape is not correct, its "dented", and I believe that is due to too little cooling. I have also added a photo of the bottom of my egg so that you can see how it is supposed to look

Comments deleted.

This is just spam

How does the egg break apart of "print in place." I printed it first in place and couldnt get it to separate. Then printed it separately but the two halves of the eggs are meant to be fitted together so that didn't work. Would really like to make this work. Thanks

If the parts are fused together your printer is most likely overextruding, only the snap-fit lock in the top should keep the egg locked. Lower your flowrate. In Simplify3D that setting is called "Extrusion Multiplier", not sure what it is called in other slicers

thanks, tweaked the flowrate and printed perfectly, really excited about using these for the kids easter egg hunt this year!

Thats awesome!

Probably one of the cooler things I have made. It printed perfectly without support. I used simplify 3D with a pretty cheap printer and had no problems on the first try. I would love to see something like this with dinosaurs.

Thanks! I dont think I'll be making eggs with dinosaurs in near future. I am more of an hard surface modeller :(

If you want to truely test the accuracy of your printer then go ahead. 1st attempt - completely fused. Calibrated the extruder and found it was pushing 6mm too much over 100mm! 2nd attempt noticed my rounds were ovals, calibrated the steps/mm and Y OK but X was out by 0.37! 3rd attempt issues with bed levelling, finally bit the bullet and installed the auto bed sensor thats been stilling on my desk for the last 6 months and change my stock firmware to Marlin (ANET A8 Printer). A week of mucking around and testing and finally 4th Attempt it worked. Never thought a crappy AU$200 printer would ever do it but there you go it actually will do it with correctly setting EVERYTHING!

Thats great! Glad you was able to calibrate the printer

What tolerance are all the swivel joints. curious to know what I was able to achieve with my printer

The wheels: 0,3mm
The arm joints: 0,275mm
Not sure where to measure the body joint since it is built in a bit strange way, almost like a tapering hook

I have printed this in both ABS and PLA and I swear there is always a part breaking.. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, I've kajiggered with the flow, the heat, infill, and obviously the material but something ALWAYS breaks unless I scale it up a lot (which isn't so bad). The wheels seem to adhere to the bed overly well and when trying to pull loose from surface the axle snaps or when I do get it free the joint between the base and body snaps..or if that doesn't break one of hinges along the arm seem to snap! Oofs!!

Oh well, I think those points could stand to be slightly thicker or the gap slightly larger (but what do I know??) - I'm going to move on though, your prints are lovely and my son absolutely adores them!!

I am sorry to hear that you have problems printing these. What are the settings you are using? Can you attach a few photos of the failed prints to a reply here?

Hello, loved the models.
Do you have any plans of making more of these?

Thank you! Yes indeed. I am working on egg #5 as we speak :) So stay tuned


I got a Da Vinci Mini Maker very recently and just tried printing the excavator v2.

The arm is completely rigid, and the wheels are completely stuck too. Trying to force the arm to flex, it broke before moving. Wondering what could be the cause, any hint will be greatly appreciated :).

I printed with the following settings :

No support, raft, brim
Infill : 30% (XYZware goes from 30 straight to 50, can't use 40)
Layer height : 0.1
Shells : Medium (Settings are thin/medium/thick and I see you use "3", not sure what to use. Also, what does this do? :p)

Is there anything above that could cause the issue?

Also, when importing the model, XYZware says it detects "problems" with the model and offers to auto-repair it, which I said yes to. Maybe I should try while saying no? Model looks identical in the preview though.

Here are some blurry photos of what the hinges look like on the arm (you can see how it broke too).

First of all, these has been designed to be printed without a raft, so remove that option. shells are how many outlines the model gets (walls), I recommend 3 shells since that will make the wheel axles stronger. Do not auto-repair, not sure what that does but it might weld parts together that should not be welded together. If the hinges are fused together it often means that the printer is extruding a bit too much filament, and that is often fixed by lowering the feed rate (In the Simplify3D slicer that setting is called Extrusion Multiplier, not sure what it is called in your slicer if you are not using S3D). I also see some strange layer steps on the printed part in your photo, not sure what causes that, you might need to lower the printer speed to increase precision
I hope this helps, and please let me know how it goes if you do some more tests
Best regards

Hi, thanks for your reply!

I meant "No support, raft, brim" as in No support, no raft and no brim, sorry for the confusion (since you only mentionned disabling raft, should I enable brim?)

I'll try again soon and let you know!

What setting do you use in the Extrusion Multiplier in Simplify3D? I might try it since they have a "try it free for 2 weeks" refund policy and XYZWare doesn't seem great.


Hi DinoMC

did you manage to print the egg and excavator on the Mini Maker, I haven't received my printer yet but I know my little boy is desperate to print one of these.

Total Noob


I had more luck with Simplify3D (using 80% extrusion multiplier I think), but it's not perfect :
The arm works great with those settings, flexing at all 3 points, but not the cab (it breaks if you try to force it) and the wheels are completely stuck, that's really the hardest part as highlighted by other comments.
It's worth a print though, looks great and he can play with the arm at least, it's small so you don't really need the wheels to be turning slide it around :)

(Tried printing with lower multiplier but then it breaks everywhere so for a better print I think a better printer is required)

Thanks for the reply, the printer came today but nothing will stick to the bed tried tape and pritt stick glue. Think I might need to call the support line tomorrow :-(

When I ordered the printer there were comments saying to order "Scotch Blue Painter's Tape" with it, which I did. With it I had no issue with prints not sticking to the bed, quite the opposite in fact, it stuck almost too well and I had an hard time getting my prints off the bed.
You could try that if you haven't.
I got this one : https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00004Z4DU/

Room temperature plays a part too so YMMV (it's 22°C here).

Good luck! :)

Thanks I'll order some tape, it could be a temp thing it's around 7 degrees C here and I try not to have the heating over 20. My wife and kids would love it to be warmer :-)

No brim either :)
I currently use the default setting on Extrusion Multiplier (0,95 I believe). S3D do slice these models a lot better with default settings than my previous Makerbot slicer ever did (I have a old Makerbot Replicator 2)

This was amazing. I got a Robo3D R1 for christmas and have only printed mods so far to make it better. I tested them with this and it worked perfectly. I didn't know it could print this precise. All the hinges and wheels work perfectly. You are amazing.

Thats great! Thanks!

Comments deleted.

Hi, first off thanks for all of your hard work. These have provided many of us with hours of fun.

My question is, what is the size of your nozzle? I think my .4mm has finally worn out and I need to swap in a new one but I don't see anywhere what size yours is. I'm having issues printing overhangs with ABS and they are slightly better with PLA. Modified Anet A8 printing on heated glass bed .4mm nozzle w/ .2mm layer, extrusion multiplier 94%, 45mm/sec print speed sliced using Octoprint with onboard Cura 15.06.

Hi. My nozzle is 0,4mm, I print only with PLA. I also suggest you print these with 0.1mm layer height. Precision is key

i think many makers will not be aware that the wheels on these machines also spin. For me it's very hard to make them spin, as the bottom layer I get it one piece, and I have to separate all the parts on post, so it took me a while to even find out that the wheels can speen and that turntable can rotate

If your first layer is in one piece I suspect that your nozzle is way to close to the bed and will make the filament bleed out. Try calibrating the z height. Also as a rule of thumb, if the parts are fused the printer is overextruding and the flow rate should be lowered

Really awesome! Reminds me of the Transformers Constructicons :-)

Thanks again. Made all four again at 150% scale with no problems whatsoever. I wish I had skill to do this great work.

Awesome! I would love it if you also uploaded the files as a make. That will make the photos easier for people to see and make my models more visible. Just click the "I made one" in the upper right menu

Wow. Sons loved these. Thank you so much

Thank you for the comment!

My granddaughter loves it. I would like to be able to put in a Hershey Kiss in one to surprise her. Long story, but she would.

very very good ..great man !

"Some have printed very large versions of my eggs and they work. But since the tolerance between parts also scales they will become a bit more wobbly" The egg was a bridge too far for my stock (no mods) CR10, the hinges kept braking when I tried to open them. 150% works nicely though.
I get printing an axle/bearing without them sticking together when the extruder is axial but I don't understand why it works when the extruder is radial?
We need one of these for an R22 helicopter.

Sorry I never noticed this comment :( Usually when the hinges are fused it means the printer is overextruding. You should try reducing the flowrate. I use simplify3D and in S3D there is a setting called "Extrusion Multiplier"

would it be hard to make bigger one? I just printed 200% and it is too loose. I like it a lot thou :) making soon a "i made it"

The threshold was dialed in for a tiny model. Since this isnt a parametric model it is a bit too much work to make a bigger one. You could try too overextrude the model to see if it will get tighter. Increase the feedrate (Extrusion Multiplier)

Comments deleted.

Thanks! Did it work at all at 0.2?

I think it should, but i selected an old profile with -0,40 z offset so the first layer was to close = wheels stuck :(

I have no pictures but I just printed this and I am amazed at how all the joints work. These are super cool tiny toys. Very good on your effort to do this and share it. Thank you. Now I know my printer is worthy and I will mail this to my grandson so he can laugh at me and enjoy it and then lose it somewhere. i have the FolgerTech FT-5 printer. Original (year or so old) model.

Haha, thanks :)

Wonderful model. Printed well on my CR10 using S3D, except the cab is very lose. To the point that it can be removed out without obvious damage to the model.

Thanks! Yeah, I have just started using Simplify3D and I've had the same experience. Out of the box Simplify3D does a better job on the tolerance than my old slicer. I've just added a version v2 of the excavator with tighter cab joint. Let me know if you are able to test the new model. Best regards Stian

The cab on the new version works perfectly. Happy new year, and I looking forward to your next release!

Awesome! Thank you for testing it. Happy New Year!

How do you get the hinges to work? My truck printed nicely, then I just figured you had to turn the parts a bit to loosen it up but the cab broke off and the scoop broke off and if I bend anymore the arm will break too!

The cab broke off? It sounds like you must have really bad layer adhesion or something. And you struggle with the tolerance. It is hard to pinpoint the problem since it might be a lot of things. What printer? Are you usinge the settings I have am using on my model? Is this old filament? Do you have problems with the temperatures?

Well this is the first thing I’ve ever printed! We just got a davinci mini and I just printed this on default settings. I know not a lot about 3D printing as of right now. These files are great though thank you!

Ah, congrats on owning a 3d printer :)
Try printing this model on fine settings. 0,1mm layer height (100microns), 3 shells/walls and 40% infill. Make sure you dont print these using support structures or raft. You might have to experiment with different printing temperatures on the PLA

Some have printed very large versions of my eggs and they work. But since the tolerance between parts also scales they will become a bit more wobbly

Am I the only one having a really hard time printing this excavator?! The front window of the driver cockpit keeps curling upwards and causing my nozzle to hit it and knock the piece off the bed. How are you guys preventing the steep overhand of the front cockpit window from curling up?

I have attached some pictures to show what I am referring to. I am using a Prusa MK2S

I have the exact same issue. Did you find a solution?

turn the model 180 or 90 degrees from where you are now and try again the MK2 cannot cool the backside of a shape very well.
turning the model has an effect on cooling and how the layers go down and can help.

Looking at you photos it also looks like you are overextruding. Try lowering the feedrate. Some of the curling might be because of the excess materials

Print Slower and at a lower temperature and with fan at 100%

Thank you for the suggestion shadycuz. I set it to 40% speed (using the LCD display on the printer) with fan at 100% and it still didn't help. I then added two desk fans pointing at the truck and turned off the heated bed and still the PLA was warping upwards more and more with each layer until the nozzle would hit it. Is there a specific speed you recommend?

Hi endrew, i have exactly same issue than you with original prusa mk2s, have you found a solution? i try with PLA & ABS without success. This curling is linked to model, it is normal?

In a last time : Thank to shadycuz for this good model.

No I haven't printed this yet, will try it tomorrow. I just know the curling is normally on parts that are overhangs and are getting to much heat dumped into it to quick. You printing in pla? Try a lower temperature like 194c and keep dialing back the speed until it passes that part.

Prints perfect. The rotating cab could be a little tighter but otherwise perfect. I love these things.

Excellent, spectacular, I'm already waiting for the next one.

Please make a Tiger TANK with a egg.

Please make a tiny grab next if you can? Like the Sennebogen 835 with claw attachment

Thank you. I love these. Reminds me of kinder eggs as a kid.

Yeah, Kinder Eggs was a big part of my childhood. Every Saturday I got one egg and it was the highlight of the week (this was in the 80s)

This one is great! Thank you for putting this one up! I'll be printing it soon and adding to my collection for my kids:)

Nice Work !

that is a great present for eastern :-)
can you create a thing for xmas ?


Wow, awesome design! I can't keep up with your great work; we haven't printed Egg 2 yet!

Amazing work my friend.

Thank you. But trust me the Wold need a ping unicorn in a egg, as well!!

This is the best one yet! Printing now. Thank you for making and publishing these! Do you have any videos on how you make these models? Would love to see the process.

Thank you! I hope it prints well! Unfortunately I don't have any tutorials/progress videos. These model are usually modeled over several days or weeks with lot of trial and error