Introduction: How to Make 3D Filament Rivets

About: I am a multimedia maker and STEAM educator living in Los Angeles. There are few things more satisfying to me than acquiring and exploring a new skillset, so you'll find a wide variety of materials in my projec…

Need to attach 3D printed parts? Rather than use pins, pre-made rivets, or machine screws, you can make quick and easy plastic rivets with a couple inches of filament from your 3D printer. I've been using this technique for a while now, and finally made a quick video showing you how on my YouTube channel Barb Makes Things.

The little creature in this video is one I wrote up a couple years ago, and I haven't yet written an instructable for the scissor mechanism poking device I show in this video. Let me know if you're interested in seeing that.

Step 1: Materials

  • A few inches of 3D printing filament. PLA, ABS, 1.75mm, 3mm. I've tried it all and it all works pretty well.
  • Wire cutters or pliers with wire cutters
  • A hot tool like a hot glue gun or soldering iron

Step 2: Form the Rivet

This is very simple. Heat up the hot tool, and press one end of the filament into it until it melts into a head. String it through the pieces you want to attach, trim excess filament from the other side until there's just a small amount left, then melt the other side until it's snug.

Step 3: Fin

That's it! The great thing about these is how quick, easy, and cheap they are. You can make them with a bunch of different colors, matching, contrasting, whatever. You can remove them with snips or a knife and replace them easily.

Hope this is helpful!