3d Printed DIY Dremel-style Rotary Tool




Introduction: 3d Printed DIY Dremel-style Rotary Tool

About: I like to design and build DIY things for everyday use. You are going to love this channel if you own a 3d printer. Occasionally, I will make stuff using wood, metal, leather etc. Do Subscribe and Stay tune...

There are plenty of DIY Dremel-style rotary tool ideas available on the internet but I couldn’t find anything that was powerful enough or usable in the long term, while looking good! So I decided to design and make my own 3d Printed Dremel-style rotary tool.

Though I had recently purchased a professional 160W rotary tool, but I now mostly use my own rotary tool as it is compact, light, yet powerful enough for 90% of the things I have to do and much lower noise.

Safety Warning: Power tools should be handled carefully with the appropriate safety equipment. Safety Equipment, especially face mask, will also be required during this build as it involves sanding and painting the parts. I cannot be held responsible for any injuries, damages or losses caused during this build or by the rotary tool. Go ahead at your own risk :)

Step 1: The Design

After starting from crude sketches and going through several iterations, I used Fusion 360 for the 3d CAD model. With some more back and forth iterations, I reached a design which was ergonomic and could also fit in the electronics.

The front part has a groove for giving more control while doing detailed, precise work. It has a snap fit which makes it detachable for changing tool bits.

The rest of the casing is made up of 2 parts stuck together using adhesive and holds the motor and pcb with vent holes for cooling.

Step 2: Parts Required

  • 3d Printed Parts: Total 3, I got mine printed at 3d Hubs with PLA at 200 microns.
  • 12V DC Motor: Listed as 6000 rpm, RS-550S Motor. Diameter~37mm
  • PWM DC Motor Controller 3A
  • Mini Chuck/Collet Set for 3.17mm Shaft
  • Adhesive
  • Wires
  • Black Rubberized Automotive Paint(Optional)- I used one from Rust-Oleum
  • 12V Power Supply , Atleast 5A current
  • Rotary tool bits

Step 3: Assembly

1) Sanding and Finishing

Sand and Finish the parts to get the right fit and remove irregularities. Especially the snap fit at the front cover. You could also temporarily connect the motor to a 12V battery and chuck, and use the tool bit for sanding.

Don’t forget to wear appropriate safety equipment.

2) Rubberized Paint

After sanding and finishing, Paint the lower-part with Black Rubber Automotive Paint for a nice grip and aesthetics. I did 4 coats for a nice soft-touch feel. Paint outside in open area and use safety gear.

3) Connecting the wires

Solder the wires to motor terminals, the other ends go to the ‘Motor +/-’ terminals on the PWM controller circuit board.

Pass 2 wires through the smaller hole at the end of the ‘lower-part’ and through the small triangular hook as shown in image. Then connect one end to the ‘Power +/-’ terminals on the circuit board and other end to a 12V power supply.

Turn on the 12V supply to ensure that the motor turns counter-clockwise. If not, switch the wires going into ‘Motor +/-’ terminals.

4) Putting Everything Together

Using 2 machine screws provided with the motor(usually M3 screws), secure the motor to the front side of the casing. Remove the potentiometer cap from the PWM controller and insert it through the hole at the end of the lower casing.

Using a minimum of two M3 self tapping screws, secure the PWM controller board to the lower casing.

Tuck the motor wires in, and stick the lower casing to the other half casing by applying adhesive at the edges.

Insert the chuck on the motor shaft and secure it. Snap on the front plastic cover. Put the potentiometer cap back on.

Step 4: Ready to GO!!

Cut, Engrave, Sand, Polish, Drill many materials including most Plastics, Woods, relatively Soft Metals like Aluminium. Great and useful DIY project if you own a 3d printer.

Smaller tool bits fit in directly, but for larger bits either you may sand the opening hole of the front cover or not use the front cover.

The front cover is mostly for holding the rotary tool closer to the tool bits to give more control.

So far, the rotary tool has been working great. Making the 12V wire removable, using screws instead of adhesive are some possible improvements I’m thinking about. Let me know any suggestions for the next version in the comments below and I’ll try to make them happen!

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    19 Discussions

    Hi Makernaut,
    This might sound like a stupid question but can you please link what bits you bought as I’m having trouble finding any affordable ones that ship to Australia.
    Thank you in advance,

    Excellent work. Good looking tool. Looks better than the commercial stuff

    1 reply

    Do you have any recommendations for parts sources? Particularly the motor and collett. Nice design!

    2 replies

    Hey, all parts are available on ebay. Just make sure that the specs listed by the seller are genuine.

    Search 'mini collet', there will be plenty of 3.17mm collets.

    Can you give the source for the parts - this 'kit' uses specialize parts, also screws instead of glue would be much better. I have used PLA for many projects and it is more than durable for this application!

    3 replies

    Hey, all parts are available on ebay. Just make sure that the specs listed by the seller are genuine.

    Search 'mini collet', there will be plenty of 3.17mm collets.

    I too don't like using adhesive, but this was done on a short timeline for the contest and screws for plastics are hard to find. Also, the space constraints and optimizing the design for 3d printing, too many things! Adhesive was the easier option..relatively!

    Not very polite but sadly the concept is correct, this could be a proof of concept, i appreciate the design but this is not a good tool.

    The motor probably have only axial bearing, this means that can resists to drill operations, but not to tangent forces like in sanding, polishing, ecc. (or the opposite, it's quite rare to have a shaft with both bearings) Plus, the RPM are quite low.

    The 3d printed parts, because of vibrations, heat and mechanical stress won't last long. I really doubt that this could last 100 hours, for example.

    Moreover, even if we do not take into account the previous points, it's not economically worth at all, and that's the main reason not to produce this tool.

    The desing is outstanding, but it can compete with mass production performance. I guess if it's possible to have some 18650 batteries as power supply, then it could be a portable tool, for very little jobs, that really have a reason to exist.

    My 2 cents.

    Marco, Thanks for your comment. Have a look at this: https://www.amazon.com/GOCHANGE-Electric-Accessori...

    Same concept, same type of mounting, probably a cheaper motor. Based on the reviews, It seems to be doing good.

    The main use for my instructable is for people doing light work on plastics/woods/foam etc not heavy duty metal cutting.

    As for the economics, if you don't have a 3d printer already, it's going to be expensive. But you get bragging rights in return. As for comparing 3d printing with mass production, there is no contest at all....at the moment.

    I too was thinking of the durability, low rpm and all, before making this, so I ordered 2 motors one at 6k other at 15k rpm. I chose to go with 6k rpm and am pleasantly surprised. I now use my own rotary tool for most work. Light-weight, low noise and just enough power to get it done!

    Wow, you should be so proud of that! Great skills from design to use. Really really impressive. Great 'ible' too. Thanks.

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    I wonder if the motor alone with collet and suitable bit could be turned into a CNC toolhead. Awesome work!

    1 reply

    Thanks for your comment, I don't think this will be a good choice for using in CNC. I found this to be good for light work when you need low noise/weight where something like dremel would be an overkill.

    That's pretty awesome. Ever think of making a small cnc with it?

    1 reply

    Thanks for appreciating, I don't think of using this for a CNC. However, a CNC machine is on my list, hopefully this year I am able to make it!

    Is there any chance of the 3d printed parts coming apart from vibration?

    2 replies

    I have used it on Aluminium and Wood among other materials, nothing has happened so far. I can hold the device upside down from the front cover, and the snap fit doesn't come out either. The 2 casing parts are stuck using adhesive, so some of the strength depends also on the adhesive used.