Solution for Tough 3D Printed Joinery Issues: Try Heat Staking


When 3D printing doesn’t permit the creation of an item as a single unit, the solution lies in combining pieces. While many are inclined to implement threaded inserts or nut slots at the design stage, or even resort to B1 glue, the suggestion is to exploratory more in the direction of thermally staking your printed parts into one.

You may not know the terminology, but if you’ve examined anything built from plastic, it’s likely that you’ve observed a thermally staked joint. As explained by [Richard Sewell], a thermally staked joint is essentially a plastic-made mortise-and-tenon, wherein the tenon extends past the face of the joint, so it can be made pliable with heat. The tenon then disperses, securing the joint from being dismantled. A variation involves a mortise with a wide chamfer, letting the melted tenon spread, which not only resists disassembly but also delivers a smoother surface.

To melt the joint, [Richard] simply employs a soldering iron backed up by slight pressure. Rather than a tip, he uses the barrel of the iron, which evenly distributes the heat and the force, though a broad chisel tip might be feasible for lesser joints. Kapton tape helps prevent the iron from accumulating melted plastic. [Richard] outlines several perks to this plastic joint method, including the elimination of supplementary hardware need. But the greatest benefit may be that this method lets each facet of an item have optimized layer lines, since it sidesteps monolithic printing.

While it may not be relevant in all cases, thermal staking appears to be a technique worth remembering. It would be fascinating to see [Stefan] at CNC Kitchen apply his testing prowess to these joints, just like he did for threaded inserts.

You see it in some calculators.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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