Introduction: Dual Lead Screw Vise/ Clamp With Quick Release Mechanism | Fully 3D Printed
The files for this design can be found at www.thingiverse.com/thing:3932162
I designed and printed this vise because I needed one to clamp objects while gluing, hold PCBs while soldering, or hold parts in place. With these end uses in mind, I set out to design a suitable vise.
From experience, you learn the limitations of 3d printing, and how part orientation affects strength. This vise is a good example of how part orientation during printing can maximize strength. I designed this vise to be printed in an orientation that allows the layers to be aligned with the forces of using the vise. By aligning the forces with the layers (not having the perpendicular), you eliminate breaking parts from layer delamination, which is one of the weakest aspects to 3D Printing. Because of the way that the vise is designed, there are only compression forces on the screws, not tension, so they will not delaminate.
See the video for clips of the quick-release mechanism that makes this vise unique.
I went through 4 completely different iterations before I landed on this one. The preceding designs did not feature a quick-release mechanism. It was tedious to fully open or fully close the vise jaws because the screws are designed to have a very high mechanical advantage for a strong clamping force. The high clamping force has the tradeoff of higher rotational distance, so you used to have to rotate the knob a lot to move the jaws. But this new design blows the previous ones out the window! One of the jaws is not permanently fixed to anything, so all that you have to do is put the inserts in whatever hole fits closest to the size of your object, and that jaw will move great distances without requiring you to spin the knob at all. I chose to use simple inserts to hold the jaws in place because they are a simple, fool-proof method of achieving this. This vise also has 4 holes that allow for it to be securely mounted to a bench.
This would be a good project to teach STEM because it is a hands-on way to learn how simple machines such as screws and gears make up compound machines. As I mentioned earlier, for those who are learning STEM and building things with 3D Printers, this vise is a good example of how to align parts for printing to maximize strength. It is also a great way to introduce how mechanical advantage works with screws and gears.
A way to expand on this idea would be to have another set of threaded rods and gears with a lower pitch and compare the maximum clamping force you get (by using a load cell) for each type of screw, demonstrating that screws with a lower pitch have a higher mechanical advantage.
The vise also shows how power is transferred through a gear train. Similar to having 2 different pitches of screws and gears, you could make 2 different sizes of gears to demonstrate how gear size affects mechanical advantage.
1. 3D Printer with Filament (Imagine how much more useful this would be if it were metal 3d printed)
2. CA or hot Glue
3 (Optional). 4 screws if you need to mount to the vise to a bench. An additional screw is useful for mounting the knob to the middle gear, but glue works well enough to be used as a replacement.
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Step 1: Print Everything!
This vise is 100% 3d printed, so you better get started printing! For the following instructions, use the above video.
Okay, time for the specifics: A higher infill % will make the parts stronger, but 15-20% was plenty strong when I tested it with PLA. When printing the screws, I used over 50% infill because they are prone to snapping while installing them into the vise. Because of the way that the vise is designed, there are only compression forces on the screws, not tension, so they will not delaminate. 3 perimeters for the gears helped them have strong teeth as well.
Step 2: Glue the 2 Halves Together
Put the jaws and middle gear into their positions, and then glue the 2 halves together. Make sure to put the jaws and middle gear in place first.
Step 3: Position the Final Gears
Place the other 2 gears into their trays on both sides of the middle gear. These 2 gears are interchangeable, so don't worry about mixing anything up.
Step 4: Insert the Threaded Rods
Screw the rods through the remaining gears, and continue until the rods screw into the jaw.
Step 5: Affix the Knob
As the last step of this simple build, you need to slide the knob onto the center gear's axle and secure it using either a screw or glue.
Step 6: Clamp Something!
You're done! See the video for clips of the quick-release mechanism that makes this vise unique.
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