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Guidelines for critical dimensions and snap-fits?

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Guidelines for critical dimensions and snap-fits? [message #65133] Fri, 29 March 2013 20:00 UTC Go to next message
avatar rymnd  is currently offline rymnd
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Registered: March 2013
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Junior Member

I'm a student currently working on an open-source robotic hand design (www.eng.yale.edu/grablab/openhand). We're just starting the project and recently released the first rev of our initial design offering. We use a combination of 3D-printing and molding to make compliant, tendon-actuated fingers. We'd like to integrate our existing and future designs with a service like Shapeways so that interested users can make an order directly if they do not have access to their own 3D printers.

However, we have some critical design dimensions in terms of press-fits and pulley clearances that need to be fairly exact to ensure proper performance. I've found some past forum posts that touch on snap-fits and tolerancing:
http://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&goto=5248 7
http://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&goto=2122 9

Unfortunately, these posts mostly discuss clearances/tolerances between 3D printed parts, not 3D printed parts and other elements.

I was wondering if any other forum members have had experience with projects that combine 3D printed parts and other fasteners/elements, and what level of success they've had with that. If anyone here has heard of similar projects that have focused on producing something functional, heavily used, and with moving parts, that would be helpful as well.

Thanks for everyone's time!
Re: Guidelines for critical dimensions and snap-fits? [message #65288 is a reply to message #65133 ] Mon, 01 April 2013 13:03 UTC Go to previous message
avatar Youknowwho4eva  is currently offline Youknowwho4eva
Messages: 6793
Registered: September 2008
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I work here
The main issue with snap fitting two printed parts is one could be +.1mm and the other could be -.1mm and cause a snap to either not fit or be too loose. You only have to worry about the tolerances on 1 3D printed part, unless you have underfill or flashing on your molded part.

I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. -Maya Angelou
michael@shapeways.com Community Advocate

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