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Joints & Connections for 3D Printing

This shows the traditional techniques used to join 3D Printed parts together. It also explains why why certain connections are more preferable over others. To learn and see more about 3D Printing visit the blog here: www.3DPrintingNinja.blogspot.com

Tyson James

on 11 August 2014

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Transcript of Joints & Connections for 3D Printing

Joints & Connections
Traditional Joints & Connections
Each type has a unique purpose and function. The following types will each be explained in detail:
Chain Joint
This method is something that is unique to 3D Printing, as it allows you to make a chain that was not mended or welded together. This type of joint allows freedom to move both rotationally and translationally. Therefore it is currently used in the 3D printing of clothes.
Mid-Print Joint
Snap Joint
These are the most common types of joints. They allow two pieces to be removed and joined multiple times. They often allow movement when joined such as rotational or translational.
Ball Joint
These allow orbital movement, or in other words similar to how your arms and legs attach to your torso. Therefore if you are making an action figure or doll these would be used. They also can be useful for something such as a shower head holder.
for 3D Printing
Presented by
3D Printing Ninja
Snap Y N
Ball Y N
Screw Y N
Pins Y N
Chain Y N
Break Y N
Dovetail Y N
Zipper N N
My Phone Case
Gear Heart
Notice that by adding a slit, it will allow the part to elastically deform, making it easier to put in place and remove
Please note that connections wear down overtime and use. Therefore when the joint is printed, it may be hard to join at first, but gets easier over time.
Tip: You can always add WD-40 or something to help things move well.
Strap Buckle
Break Joint
Even though 3D printing allows you to print all the parts at once, I strongly recommend printing parts separately and then connecting them afterwards. The reason is because most printers aren't good enough to do this because they require supports (If you have a printer that can, then print as one).

That being said it may sometimes still be more feasible to print you parts as one. For example let's take a lot at this elephant model.
Notice how the orientation allows this to be printed without any supports
Screws & Pins
This are pretty much self-explanitory, keep in mind that what you are creating does not need to all be 3D printed. For example, you can but screws and bolts from Home Depot, you don't have to print everything
Keep in mind the tolereance. It is recommended to have 2-4mm of tolerance between the objects
This is a way that will amuse people (similarly to the boat in a jar). It is quite simple, and just involves some quick hands. While an object is printing you can attach another part. Hence you could also make a chain by creating loops that were placed mid-print.
Please Note: This may have to be done without stopping the printer, because pausing the printer may pause it in place burning the object. Or it may mess up the layers as the temperature drops too much. Be careful not to bump the printer as it may disorient it.
The Museum of
Dovetail Joint
These are typically done in wood working, but can be handy for toys. And example would be a train track part in which it will be assembled and disaasembled many times.
You can make a traditional zipper or a modified zipp as shown
Notice that it is printed without supports in the left and then the joints are broken to bend the legs afterwards..
Notice the slit in the pin, which makes it easier to assemble.
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