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Printing bolts and threaded rods
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* January 23, 2016, 07:24:35 AM
Sometimes I design a piece that utilizes a low stress joint where a lightweight bolt made from plastic will work fine.
However, I would still like to maximize the strength of these printed bolts.

As you know, printing bolts is difficult unless they are printed vertically.   The problem is that due to the layering direction when printing vertically, this makes for VERY weak bolts.   Ideally, plastic bolts printed horizontally, so that the layers run lengthwise instead of diagonally across the bolt or threaded rod produces threaded pieces that are quite strong.

Here are the best two solutions I have found to date for this dilemma.....
1). Create a small flat spot on one side of the bolt.   That gives the printer a solid place to start the print and does not significantly compromise the bolt.
2). Print a threaded, straight rod, and use a die to add the threads (works well, but requires tooling with every bolt printed)

Can anyone come up with a more elegant solution?

BTW...this is with a regular FFA printer, .4mm nozzle using PLA or PETG



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TurboCAD v11 Professional


* January 23, 2016, 09:29:06 AM
#1
Why not buy the bolts instead of making your own?

Henry H

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* January 23, 2016, 09:45:19 AM
#2
Why not buy the bolts instead of making your own?

Henry H

Convenience.
I can design the exact length and size I need while doing the design & printing.
I already have 10 gazillion bolts and nuts and yet somehow I never seem to have just the right one.
Closest place to go get them is a good distance too.

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TurboCAD v11 Professional


* January 23, 2016, 11:18:52 AM
#3
"I already have 10 gazillion bolts and nuts and yet somehow I never seem to have just the right one."

Yeah, me too. Wife doesn't understand why I'm always buying more.

Henry H

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* January 23, 2016, 11:50:05 AM
#4
"I already have 10 gazillion bolts and nuts and yet somehow I never seem to have just the right one."

Yeah, me too. Wife doesn't understand why I'm always buying more.

Henry H

I traded in the dysfunctional wife and got a larger garage and more tools...... 8)

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TurboCAD v11 Professional


* January 23, 2016, 02:07:45 PM
#5
Designing to use the bolts you have at hand would be pretty elegant, IMO.  Failing that, threadless fasteners, like the camlock connectors used to assemble kit furniture, designed with attention to the way that you orient them in the printer to use the printer's best strength instead of trying to overcome the liabilities of the weaker.   Along those lines, something like the collets that hold car engine valve spring retainers could be done.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 03:56:17 PM by murray dickinson »

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