Fastening Objects in 3D Printing

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This is an article started by Russ Hensel, see for a bit of info. Look at the page history to see if I am still actively working on it. If not I still may come back at a later time.


Fastening parts can involve a variety of issues:

  • Parts need to go together and come apart
  • Parts print better in parts because of support needs or other issues, then need to be put together, perhaps permanently.
  • Parts are too big for printer.
  • Parts need only to go together once, the fastening is permanent.
  • Parts need to be assembled or disassembled without tools.
  • Cost is of importance.
  • Joints should/should not be visible.

Depending on the issues there are different methods that you may wish to apply.

How to Fasten[edit]

Nut and Bolts[edit]

Yous can use a nut and bolt if you make a pocket to insert the nut into the side of the hole and then bolt in as usual. This makes a nice strong removable fastening. It can be a bit fussy to print but I have used and liked this method.

You can see this technique in these models:

  • coming soon?


There are a variety of screws that are "self taping". Given a starter hole ( drilled or printed ) you can screw into them. This is a pretty quick and easy way. Just insert the fastener and screw it in. It would be nice to have a reference to specific

  • screws
  • pilot hole sizes
  • plastic types and perhaps infill settings

This can also be done with a machine screw but the pilot needs to be quite close to the screw diameter and is relatively easily stripped. I have been successful with this, in one case with set screws.

Plastic Welding[edit]

Permanent method. May be used to supplement a mechanical method.

  • Friction Welding
  • Hot Iron


Glue Cement[edit]

Permanent method. May be used to supplement a mechanical method.

Depends on material. May be solvent based for some plastics.


Mechanical Joints - Joinery[edit]

Including snap fit, dovetail .......

Mechanical joints can be used alone or to supplement other fastening methods, be made permanent with glue or cement, or be of some snap together nature.


Other Links[edit]

Uncategorized Links[edit]