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November 21, 2013 AT 11:00 am

Improved Alignment Pin Hole for Split 3D Prints #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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Here’s a handy tip from Ed Nisley’s Softsolder.com blog for the common desktop 3D printing trip of splitting non-flat object in half and then pinning the parts together:

I’ve been working on an object (more on this later) that requires precise alignment of two parts that capture a nut deep inside. This calls for alignment pins, similar to the ones I used for, say, the Triple-Cylinder Thing.

The general idea is to design holes that fit the pins, then locate them at the parting line of the model, where they’re subtracted from the solid and appear in exactly the proper places when the model splits for printing. You slather solvent glue on both halves, jam pins into the holes, slap the parts together, and clamp until cured. Works fine, I use pins all over the place.

The gotcha of using just a (polygonal) cylinder as the hole: if you glue one end of the pin at a time, a small rim of dissolved plastic may form around the pin at the surface. That can bond the two halves together or prevent them from joining properly after being disassembled.

…The secret to making the gutter work: offset the second layer by half the thread width, so that it’s reasonably well supported on the first layer. If you don’t do that, the inner layers simply drop down through the hole and fill the gutter. Even doing that, notice the distortion of the first few layers inside the hole.

Read more.

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