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That is really impressive stuff. I'm experimenting with ball-and-socket joints myself, but I don't think I'd be able to do them as integrated prints due to the scale I'm working at, and because I think the clearances I'd need to allow to prevent fusing would make them too loose for my purposes.
@ Whystler: I'm not quite sure what you mean. Why have the previous attempts failed?
Previous attempts of this sort, with such an enclosure, would fuse the parts together even at the recommended clearance. Shapeways staff advised that we make the enclosing structure more open. But this was a long while ago. In the forums somewhere, there should be a post I made about ball joints with pictures of how mine fused.
Fusing is of course the big risk with these sort of objects. I found a tutorial on mechanical parts (http://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/designing_mechanical_parts_for_3d_printing) that suggested 0.6mm was a good rule of thumb for clearances, so I made sure that each critical clearance was exactly that, and I've never had a problem with fusing.
Well ... okay. I did have one, but it was my fault. I created a double length version of this same piece, and instead of an easy circular array I had to loop it around in a wonkish way to get it to fit into the build volume of the printer. I created a 3D path to array the pieces around (manually) and almost every aspect of doing so was a PITA. The result though was worthwhile: http://www.shapeways.com/model/118139/string_of_pearls___extra_long.html
What I stuffed up was the clearance between the pieces that crossed over close to each other, but all that happened was that there was a small bit of distortion on those pieces. Nothing fused.
I've designed other full chains as well, and I've added some more photos to my site of those today, so feel free to check those out too. Same clearances apply.