In this workshop our team will show the first years students how to add self-made threaded inserts into 3D-prints.
Arno, Joke, Justine
Step 1: What Do We Need?
- Aluminium tube (size according to table)
- Metal file
- Metal saw
- Threading tool
- Threading lube
- Soldering iron
- Screws / bolts
- Ratchet / screwdriver
- Of course our 3D-Prints
Step 2: Preparing the Parts
prepare your 3d-print file so you can use your length of screw/bolt in combination with the aluminium insert.
To fit the insert in a hole in the print you have to make the hole slightly smaller then the outer diameter of the tube. (0,1 - 0,2mm smaller diameter)
in order to have a right thread in the tube you can use this table to know how to choose the inner and outer diameter of the tube.
In this case we used a tube with outer diameter 6mm. This tube we will use for a screw with a size of 5mm.
Step 3: Sizing the Tube
Saw the aluminium tube to the correct size. afterwards file down the sharp edges to avoid damage to the 3D-print.
Step 4: Threading the Insert
Clamp the sawed tube in a vise. Then use some threading lube to ensure the thread will be cut properly.
Now comes a very important part in the process, threading the insert.
Take the threading tool and place the cutting end perpendicular to the top face of the tube (or co-linear) to the center axis of the tube).
To start the tapping, turn 1 full rotation clockwise. Then go back for a quarter of rotation. repeat this until you’ve reached the desired depth of thread.
Step 5: Placing the Threaded Insert Into the 3D-print
For this step, you first need to power up your soldering iron so you can use it straight away after the preparations.
Then take your print and the insert and place the insert perpendicular to the top face of the print. If your soldering iron is hot enough, you can start the insertion process.
Put the tip of your soldering iron on top of the insert, and wait till it heats up. If the insert is hot enough you’ll see the plastic melting underneath the edges of the tube. At this point you can start adding light pressure to the insert, pressing it into the 3D-print. Make sure you stay perpendicular to the face of the print!!!.
If the insert sits flush to the desired face, take away the soldering iron and let the plastic cool down.
Now the insert is fixed in the 3D-print.
Step 6: Assembling the Pieces
Connect your pieces bij screwing/bolting the parts together.