Introduction: Magnetic Ball Bearing Work Holder
This is a quick little project to build a light duty work positioning/holding device that uses a gigantic ball bearing. I happen to work in an industrial facility, so I've managed to salvage a few large ball bearings over the years. If you don't have access to this component, this might be a difficult project for you to replicate.
I designed the 3D printed base in Onshape, my preferred modeling software, and made the customizable design for Thiniverse in OpenSCAD. First try, no warmup :)
- Large Ball Bearing (40-70mm diameter)
- Neodymium Magnets (minimum of 3) with mounting screws or glue to fasten them in place
- I would strongly recommend using these "cupped" magnet sets (https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/hardware/rare-earth-magnets/magnets/disc/58750-rare-earth-magnet-cup-and-washer-sets) from Lee Valley or another manufacturer.
- 3D Printed Base, customized from Thingiverse
- Something that you need to position. I'm using this device to hold a stained glass template.
- Mounting screws for base, #8 button head wood screw will suffice
- Hot Glue, Double-sided Tape to mount the work holding piece
- Cyanoacrylate glue and accelerator
- Screw Driver
- Drill bits
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Step 1: Customizing the Base
- Measure the diameter and thickness of your magnets as closely as possible. I normally print everything in high speed mode on my Lulzbot Mini, so I generally add an extra 0.2 - 0.4 mm to the measured dimensions for ease of assembly. Depending on the filament/print settings/printer quality, your results may vary.
- Measure the diameter of your ball bearing,1 mm accuracy is fine
- Head to the Thingiverse page (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4154384) and open up the Customizer app for the "Ball Bearing Magnet Mount"
- Enter in the measured values into the customizer and generate the base according to your specifications
- If you don't require screw mounting holes for either the magnets or the base, simply set the screw diameter values to 0 mm.
- Generate the part
Step 2: 3D Printing
- Open the STL files in your favorite slicer
- Slice the part
- My preferred material is HIPS because it's slightly less brittle than PLA and just as easy to print on my machine.
- Send the G-code to your printer
- Collect Parts
Step 3: Installing the Magnets
This all depends on the type of magnets that you've chosen. I'm demonstrating 3 different installation techniques: Screw mounting, super glue, pressure fit.
- If you're screw mounting the magnet cups, use a drill bit to drill the pilot hole to the recommended size.
- Use a scraper to clean up the edges in the shallow holes before gluing.
- Accelerator can help speed the process.
- Ream all larger holes with a hand held drill bit.
- You'll need to clamp the 3D printed base if you're using a cordless drill for the task
- Press fit by hand or with a clamp.
Step 4: Attaching the Base and Work Piece
- Hot glue for a semi-permanent mount to another 3D printed part jig.
- If you're mounting the 3D printed base drill a pilot hole (pictures are upside down for some reason)
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