Introduction: 3d Printed Bearing
With rolling elements*, no way!
After trying a few different ways of 3d printing a rolling element bearing here's my favorite. I wanted the thinnest section I could reasonably achieve. I wanted a full accompaniment of bearings which ruled out using a retainer. I tested using a fill hole but couldn't get consistent results and could feel the fill hole as the bearing rotated. I ended up using a split center race to
*as opposed to a bronze bushing which is also a bearing.
Step 1: The Files
Here are my latest STL files. I printed them in high resolution on an Objet 500 in Veroclear.
Step 2: The Parts
I use McMaster Carr for most of my small parts. Especially if your quantities are small and you need a quick delivery time.
96415K71 316 Stainless Steel Precision Ball, 1/8" Diameter
94150A305 Metric Type 316 Stainless Steel Hex Nut, M2 Size, .4mm Pitch, 4mm Width, 1.6mm Height
90116A007 Metric 316 Stainless Steel Pan Head Phillips Machine Screw, M2 Size, 3mm Length, .4mm Pitch
Step 3: Assembling the Bearing
1) Press the nuts into the nut pockets on the lower inner race.
2) Place the lower inner race inside the outer race.
3) Fill up the race with bearings.
4) Place the upper inner race over the lower inner race.
5) Use the M2 screws to secure the upper inner race to the lower inner race.
6) Lubricate with a Teflon impregnated lubricant.