Parametric ball joint

by Erik, published

Parametric ball joint by Erik Mar 7, 2010

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I saw Makerblock\'s topic about the ball joint, I thought openSCAD was suitable and adviced it, but thought I\'d give it a try myself. This is a very quick hack, but it can be easily modified since it\'s just code.

In OpenSCAD, you can choose to see an animation of the ball joint in action. Do this by uncommeting \"demo();\" and commenting \"print();\". To print it, choose the latter, press F6 and export to STL.

For a very cool implementation of this 'part' used in a camera mount, see http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2631


Modify it with the following parameters:

size=10; // size of the ball joint
joint_spacing =0.5; // some space between them?
joint_thickness = 2; // thickness of the arms
joint_arms = 5; // how many arms do you want?
arm_width = 10; // actually: how much is removed from the arms Larger values will remove more

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Parametric ball joint by Erik is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Hi Erik, Do think this would work really small? I want to mount a 20mm dia mirror on it so I'd want that as the dia of the topmost (round part of the swivel) to be that dimension.


Very new at this, love this thingy. But I would like to enhance it to something more. But I only know software as Vectorworks, Solidworks, Inventor.

How do I import the stl into those programs? Or how do I convert them.

Kind regards!

I think there is a small failure.
The ball had not enough place inside. the joint. because it touched the cylinder on the bottom.

module joint2(){

Just create a derivative. This was more a proof-of-concept showing how easy it was to make something like this in OpenSCAD. OpenSCAD at the time was still very new... Now it has matured more and there are more free solutions that do what *SCAD does.

Sorry Erik. This was not a critic on you or your part. I justed wanted to help to improve your useful thing..

Very nice - I've got a windshield linkage that's broken on my car, due to poor (GM) design. This will be a good challenge, to modify your part and make it do what I need. We'll see how it goes.

Beautiful! Is the STL oriented just like the rendered picture? If so, the ball joint probably needs to be turned upside right to be printed.

Hi Makerblock,
Good point, I added two different views for OpenSCAD. You can choose to see an animation of the ball joint in action. Do this by uncommenting "demo();" and commenting "print();". To print it, choose the latter, press F6 and export to STL.

Did it print?
The issue with the original one was that skeinforge die not like it.

I've never had an openSCAD generated STL file that didn't print OK. So I'm assuming it will.