[Maker’s Note] 3D-printed Carpentry Tools

by Yun-Han Lin

A sneak peek of the 3D-printed tools we have this time!


I have always wondered where I could put 3D-printing into good use. David and I have talked about it one time in a video, and I do believe 3D-printing can be applied to so many things, yet there are still some problems with the projects I made after I used them for some time:

1. Vacuum Cleaner Cable Clip: It held onto the vacuum head tightly, but the plastic loosened over time.

2. Drill Bit Shelf: I like the concept of this design, but the joints also loosen after some time.

3. Lampshade: The project failed, because the PLA material was overheated and deformed during production.

The only successful model was the leather press molding done through 3D-printing. That was why I tried to make woodworking hand tools using 3D-printing.


The following are images of the 3D-printed models I tried:

  1. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3452348
  2. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1306832
  3. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3495427
  4. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:951387
  5. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4213742
  6. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2404850
  7. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:713236
  8. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2851783
  9. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:672343
  10. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2199356

I have never printed so many objects that came from other artists, so here is a brief introduction to how to quickly tell a good design model on Thingiverse:

1. The one marked with measurements of layer height and density of the material: Usually, it is good to have these specs labelled. Occasionally, some data can be unreasonable though, so you may want to pay extra attention, so that your model can turn out well after printing.

2. Generally speaking, people prefer to design a model that does not need support materials. Because of this, make sure you check the setting for support materials before you start working on any model.

3. It is good if there are different sizes or specifications in the package of a specific design, because it means there is continuous updates in the model settings and maintenance from the creator.

Reflection on the Test Result

The result this time turned out well, and I have put together some rules for your reference.

1. Avoid loading and applying force:

3D-printed objects can deform or become fatigue as long as there are loads or forces applied from both sides.

2. Little interference fit:

There is no such thing as interference fit for 3D-printed objects. Although it may feel like there is such fastening upon assembly, it is still likely to loosen due to slight changes in object sizes as time goes by.

3. Expect 0.2~0.5 mm of error in all directions.

Right after printing, there can be an error of about 0.1~0.2 mm, which may slightly deform over time. Therefore, materials with a size error within about 0.5 mm will be more suitable for 3D-printing.

4. Disassembly:

Correct ways to disassemble parts can facilitate the printing of objects in correct specs. This method can increase the model’s integrity and reduce the use of support materials. The time for printing can also be shortened. I highly recommended discovering different ways to disassemble parts and their mechanism through trying different models designed by others artists. For instance, I once made a video about the rolling of non-spherical objects. From that I found several interesting ways for assembly and disassembly different parts.



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