Join Now

    Designing for Stronger 3D Prints

    Jeremy S. Cook
    Published on - February 15, 2021 by Jeremy S. Cook

    Inspiration

    When trying to glue together, or otherwise fasten, your latest woodworking project, you’ll often run into the situation where you need a clamp with just a bit more range. Rather than running to the store for something new, Chuck “CHEP” Hellebuyck has a 3D-printable solution that allows you to fasten two inexpensive Harbor Freight clamps together, creating a “mega clamp” with over twice the clamping length of a single device.

    The setup works by unscrewing the non-moving clamping jaw pieces, revealing the attachment holes underneath. The original screws are then used to attach the new 3D-printed coupling fixture to each clamp, producing a combo-clamp device with two ratchet handles. While the concept isn’t an entirely original idea, Hellebuyck reports that modeling up his initial design in Tinkercad took him literally about 5 minutes.

    tinkcoup2

    It’s an interesting and useful concept, but more skeptical readers may be asking if it holds up to actual clamping forces. This question, and how to make stronger prints in general, is the larger focus of the video, where he goes through clamping failures with couplers printed both vertically and on the side. As you may suspect, printing on the side here produces stronger prints, as the filament lines up with the majority of the force. To make things even more solid, he printed a number of reinforcement rings with the filament oriented in the vertical direction, giving it the best of both worlds strength-wise.

    Tags: Inspiration