Installing Threaded Inserts in 3D Printed ABS Plastic

Posted in 3D Printing on May 6th, 2011 by Gregg

The subsequent online video demonstrates placing threaded inserts. Installing Threaded Inserts into FDM Printed ABS Plastic

The rapid prototype printed piece acts very much like a molded thermoplastic component. The brass inserts conduct heat really well and may be raised to the plastic melt temperature quickly. An average soldering iron can be used for this. As the insert heats just a small amount of force is needed to lower it into the printed or drilled hole. Some excess plastic could possibly move out if the hole is undersized but this can be quite simply cut with a razor blade. The finished assembly is very strong.

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Inserts installed before cleanup


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3D Printed ABS Plastic – How Does It Cut?

Posted in 3D Printing on May 6th, 2011 by Gregg
Saw cutting the modeled model is a lot like drilling. The use of typical tools that aren’t to aggressive you can obtain good results. Supporting the component from underneath will help minimise the quantity of burr. The burr can be easily taken away with a fine file filing in the direction into the part as shown in the attached video. Cutting FDM Printed ABS Plastic
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Printed Prototype Cut Closeup

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3D Printed ABS Plastic – Let’s Break It

Posted in 3D Printing on March 28th, 2011 by Gregg

Due to the printed pattern of a 3D printed part it breaks differently than solid ABS. This video Let’s Break Some FDM Printed ABS Plastic shows how the strands come apart and most times can be bonded right back together again.

This is part 3 of the series to show how 3D printed ABS plastic can be modified after printing.

3D Printed Part Break 1

Break Close-up

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3D Printed Plastic – Can you drill it Part 2

Posted in 3D Printing on March 2nd, 2011 by Gregg

Check the attached video “3D Printed FDM Unsupported Drilling” to see what happens when you don’t support the part while drilling.  You can see how the material delaminates on the exit side.

Don’t pull any loose strands or layers though or you will likely pull more loose like pulling a loose thread on a shirt. You can just clip them off or use a chamfer tool to cut them.

3d print drill breakout

Drill Breakout

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Can You Drill 3D Printed FDM ABS Plastic?

Posted in 3D Printing on February 26th, 2011 by Gregg

In word sure, but use simple standard techniques similar to what you would use drilling wood. You can see it demonstrated on youtube by clicking HERE. Consider what 3D printed FDM plastic is. It’s a pattern of plastic “threads” melted together like a plastic cloth. The pattern of the cloth depends on the shape of the part.

You can go to Engos’ 3D print page and clink on the picture of the gray part that looks like a funny shaped window about half way down to the left to see a close-up of the pattern. These plastic threads act like the grain in a piece of wood. If you do not support the grain as the drill pushes through the bottom the grain or threads will be pulled down with the drill and splinter. So simply hold the part firmly down against something firm you can drill into (like wood) and it will support the threads and allow them to be cut instead of pulled out.

You clean up the hole edges of your 3D printed FDM ABS plastic part top and bottom using a countersink tool or simply a much larger drill tip to add a bevel. Just don’t be too aggressive.

The Part 2 follow up to this video will show the unsupported 3D printed FDM ABS plastic part being drilled and what the splinter bottom edge looks like. Further in the series we will be cutting and adding threaded inserts so check back and\or sign up for our e-mail newsletter at the Engocorp Opt-In or RSS feed on the blog page for notifications etc.

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