Yet ANOTHER Machine Vise

by TheGoofy, published

Yet ANOTHER Machine Vise by TheGoofy Jan 26, 2017

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This is a quite robust 3d-printable machine vise. It's 100% 3d-printed - no screw or other piece of hardware is needed to hold the individual pieces together. Pieces clip and snap together.

It's a demonstration that it is very important to consider forces and material properties already when designing a mechanical object. Hints about proper design are presented in my video:


The video also includes explanations how to assemble this vise.

For 3d-printing it's recommended to print 3 shell layers. 35% infill is sufficient. All the forces for clamping a workpiece are only active at the outer surface - more infill doesn't make the vise more robust. Layer height is 0.15 mm (maybe screws are better printed with 0.1mm layers). No support material needed. Printed with 0.4 mm nozzle.

Designed with Fusion 360: http://a360.co/2juhSUG

If there are difficulties to print the threaded rods vertically, I've designed a version of the sliding jaw with horizontally printed rods: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2123529


Overview and Background

Very often people just try to 3d-print common mechanical objects. But the traditional shape of these objects is often not 3d-printable, and if an object was successfully printed, it maybe does not work, or it is not strong enough.

For mechanical objects it is therefore required to adapt the design depending on its future use. If you're familiar with some CAD-tool, and if your creating designs for 3d-printing. I recommend to think about the special material properties of 3d-printed parts.

Lesson Plan and Activity

Actually I recommend to watch my video on YouTube. With this knowledge you will be able to design better 3d-printable mechanical objects: c-clamp, pliers, stands, geared-transmission, camera-mounts, ...

Materials Needed

A spool of PLA, or PETG, a 3d-printer, some CAD-Tool (Fusion 360, or Tinkercad, ...)

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Very good design! I could imagine to use it on a cnc router. The advantage is that it will lower the risk of crashing the endmill into raw steel. For this purpose the vise still needs two latches to clamp it on the mills bed.

I am really impressed how this whole thing comes together without glue or screws! How many test prints did you make until you got everything fit so nicely?

I printed on a Lulzbot Taz Mini, and some pieces were a bit tight. I had to file down the two surfaces of the sliding piece as is was binding on the base pieces, and I reduced the thickness of the clips to 2.4mm to get them to fit through the slots.

Great design, Thanks!
did anyone tried to upscale it?

1 day ago - Modified 1 day ago
facile - in reply to TheGoofy

huge, my plate is 250x210x200 so I can surely upscale to 150% OR 170%

Very well thought out. Nice job!

Being lazy, I created a drill bit adapter to drive the vise handle. I found it to be faster and easier on my hands :)

Power Drill Adapter for Yet Another Machine Vise

Great Design! I just started to print it.

Very nice design, but when I want to import it to my A360 it doesn't work (link throws 404)

Hey, I printed it yesterday but The Main gear does not yet assemble with the rod even though i printed the main gear with 0.1mm layer height.
Its just stuck and won't insert nor rotate
Can I use a M12 Thread cutter to make it working ?

Yes, this will work - it's a regular M12 thread. Alternatively, you could try with different print settings (obviously the printed traces are too wide). Try to reduce the material flow, or specify a larger nozzle diameter than your printer actually has.


This looks really good, I am looking forward to printing it.

Just one question, what is the biggest PCB that can be held in this vise?


The distance between open jaws is 68 mm.

Thanks for the quick response.


Great video, explains how important orientation is while printing

If I can make a suggestion. Perhaps it is just my inexperience, but I print in PLA on a heated bed 60C. I have a hard time getting pieces off the print bed when they have a large surface area in contact with the bed. So I started chamfering the edges of my designs and that has made it easier to get a spatula in to pry off the piece.

Am I doing something wrong with my printing method? I am worried about printing the base plates for this reason.

Use scotch m3 blue

I would highly suggest switching to a PEI build surface. No glue / no prep ever again, if you get the settings right prints pop right off with the correct amount of adhesion. Only suggestion is to do a couple test prints and start with the heat low then work your way up.


I've used this build surface on aluminium and borosilcate glass. All I do is wipe it off with rubbing alcohol and go again no mess.

Dude It's worse for me, i print PLA on heated glass with a thin coat of PVA solution and I broke some of my beds getting pieces out as the pla with PVA would just have a stronger bond with the glass platform (even cooled) than the glass had a bond with itself so pieces of glass would chip off and some glass beds completely broke
The bed was too high

I print on a heated bed with blue tape. When the bed cools, the prints come off pretty easily. One note, with a heated bed and blue tape, DO NOT USE ALCOHOL or it will be very difficult to remove. The heated bed makes the tape tacky enough that you don't need the alcohol. I print on a 70c bed.

Try using one of these instead off a spatula: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:34481

EZ-Snap Razor Blade Handle
by AdanA
5 days ago - Modified 5 days ago

First off I like the overall design and thank you for the contribution. I have tried to print the vice handle several times however about 30 percent through the print it seems to have issues. Not sure what is causing the issue but it always stops around the same area. The extruder seems to back off or something else goes wrong. I even opened the Fusion 360 file and tried making a new STL file but ended up with the same results. I am using Simplify 3D and a QIDI X-one and nothing seems to help. The other gears and files print fine so I am stumped on why this one part seems to fail. Any help from you all would be appreciated. I have tried with and without supports....


2 days ago - Modified 2 days ago
TheGoofy - in reply to Athruz

No clue, what's going wrong here. Does the print really stop, or does it continue doing a mess? If the toolpath in Simplify3d doesn't look suspicious, you maybe try another slicer (e.g. Cura). Or try a different first layer height, e.g. 101%. Simplify3d has sometimes an issue, if the mesh-nodes are exactly at the same height as the layers. Or your SD-card has a problem? Could be anything ...

dang! looks good :)

Thanks for sharing and the design info too. Always appreciate that!! Thank you

Thanks for sharing!!

Hi friend, you project is amazing!

I dont have many expertise in 3d design but i would like to ask an thing to you.

You don´t have the interesting to create a very similar mechanism to laser engraver machines.
Today the big problem with this machines is the adjust of focus, because is very small and imprecise. If we have a method to adjust entire laser module head will help me and another thousand of peoples.

Look how this work today:

A simple regular surface to necklace the laser module is enough, i will try to modify your project, but as did say, i'm a newbie :-)
(sorry my poor english)


Excellent video. One little idea: if you change the orientation of the dovetail joint then the plate will pull the jaw parts together instead of pushing them apart.

That's true, but then the two base parts couldn't be printed without support material.

very nice! this is my next project

Although the machine is awesome, I'm more impressed with the printing quality you achieved and how smoothly every piece connects with each other

Love it! How good of printer do you have to have to print screws like that? Just picked up my first printer today have yet to print! A used Lulzbot AO-101.

Brilliant design! Check out my vise too http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1322841

Vise (Fully 3d printed)
by jdog13

thanks for sharing. you are one of thingiveses greatest. thanks!

What video did you use for reference when making gears in Fusion 360?

Brilliant. Thank you.

Feb 15, 2017 - Modified Feb 15, 2017

Would it make the screws stronger if the vice_sliding_jaws were printed horizontally on the bed rather than vertical, my first vice, the screws just split and separated at the layers...

I do know that when I print threaded rods horizontally flat on the bed rather than vertically they feel a WHOLE lot stronger...but require tons of support.
Would a remix with a threaded hole on the slider (where the rod can be glued in) and printed horizontally be better? such as this remix for a different PCB vice?

Screw and jaw for Fully printable PCB vise by sneakypoo

It's an excellent idea to print the bolts horizontally with some flat area for avoiding support material. Small overhanging thread tips (teeth) are still a problem for 3d-printing even if it's only 30°. But if the bolts are split in two halves, there are no overhangs at all! The standard M12 threads have a 1.75mm pitch - that's at the limit for a 0.4mm nozzle. I recommend to design some screw with 2mm pitch (e.g. M16).

I can 100% verify that printing the screws flat on the bed make them considerably stronger...I printed the printed pcb vice with the remix of the flat threaded rod from above...very very strong very little chance of snapping

Definitely need a remix of the threaded rods please

6 days ago - Modified 6 days ago
WarHawk8080 - in reply to TheGoofy

Here is what I attempted on tinkercad...you have the originals...could you make a Ver 2 or a remix and do the holes in the slide jaws and the screws the way mentioned above good sir? (I'll be the first to print one!...already burned 23~meters of filament on a failed attempt already :( )
https://tinkercad.com/things/4TL4ud8Z4kV <- just a proof in concept...not good enough for actual production
Here is my failure on trying to get the screws separated from the sliding jaws...as you can see...utter failure

Thanks to your hints. I've implemented this remix: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2123529

Horizontally printed rods for ANOTHER Vise

Nice design and great instructions. The failure mode analysis was very insightful, thanks! Clearances look to be around .2mm. Your print accuracy must be very good. Love the clips for holding the two halves together.

I have trouble printing 60° threads. I'm playing around with buttress threads to see if that's easier.

What printer do you use?

I've created this remix, which maybe is easier to print: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2123529

Horizontally printed rods for ANOTHER Vise

Excellent! I'll print it and let you know. Thank you.

I'm printing with UM2 and R2x. For some strange reasons threads are better on the UM2 even with the same type of material. Are you printing with ABS? For the threads I recommend either PETG or PLA - with ABS this horribly fails.

The small pins are too large and doesn't fit the vise. I had to change them to make them fit.
I feel that everything is too tight, I had to sand down many of the parts so they'll fit.
Overall, great design.

Different printers are differently accurate. Especially the rippled vertical surfaces (due to layers) can be very different. There are various options to tune this and potentially avoid sanding.

1) smaller layer height
2) reduce material flow resp slightly underextrude
3) in "Simplify3D" under "process settings / other" use a negative "horizontal size compensation"
4) in your slicer software set the nozzle diameter a bit larger than the real diameter (similar effect as 3)
5) buy a new printer (not really an option) ;-)

I recommend to test-print a cylinder with well known dimensions, while tuning these print settings, and check the printed size with the callipers.

Do you think its scaleable? I only can print 120mm cubed.

This is such a great design, I also really enjoyed the YT video where you explain how it was made.
Definitely printing this as soon as my printers have some free time.

The swappable jaws is a really useful feature as well.

What is the thread detail? M12 x 1.75? I want to run a die over the threads to dress them up. Thanks.

Yes, M12 x 1.75 is correct.

Delete my previous comment. I see how it works now.

I can't delete it, but only "flag". Then the Thingiverse Admin will have a look at it ... I guess you should be able to edit and delete your own comments.

Both of the threaded rods are right hand threads. Also, the main gears. When the center gear is turned, the main gears go in opposite directions and the vice jams. Am I doing something wrong here? It seems like one of the rods should have left hand threads along with it's gear.

I have the same problem. Is anyone else actually trying to turn this thing, or am I just completely off?

2 days ago - Modified 2 days ago
TheGoofy - in reply to Canteen

All orientations of threads and gears are correct. There must be another reason if it jams. Did you test that everything slides smoothly? Do the threaded rods slide properly through the holes of the base?

Has anyone modded this to add table mounting points?

Creativity comes into play here. Why not instead of relying on addition use subtraction? Drilling holes would be an obvious answer. Drill holes and add a countersink to the tops if it causes an issue with the performance of it. Rather simple answer, sorry if it doesnt answer your question

I've found drilling like this to be problematic. If the design doesn't incorporate hardpoints to be drilled then you wind up drilling through the relatively thin walls and infill. The result is the printed object loses structural integrity and the mounting holes tend to quickly wear out

Jan 27, 2017 - Modified Jan 27, 2017

Excellent design, bravo!

Three suggestions:

  1. make the soft jaws identical, only have them use a central lock of some sort (pin, snap, whatever). You already have good central access on the stationary and movable jaw so the lock hole could be through for easy change, or 3d printed fastener/clip.
  2. Please, a "blank" jaw file in step or X_T parasolid format so ppl can model their own clamp profiles.
  3. Screw shafts with 45 degree buttress threads with the 7 degree face up (towards the gears).

Wow, very nice design and a very good video on design issues and principles. I'd love to see more of these!! Thanks for sharing!

Great design and I love the video.

What infill percentage would you recommend?


What a great design. I knew the theory but seeing your tests was really interesting. Thank you for sharing

Very nice design and thorough explanations. Well done!

Any chance of also uploading a Fusion360 archive of the design? Especially of the jaw protectors so they can be easily modified? Fully understand if you prefer not to, though. Just thought I'd ask.

OK, I've added a link: http://a360.co/2juhSUG

Thank you, sir! Greatly appreciated.

Another Masterpiece from TheGoofy. Thank you for sharing.

Great Job ! Thank you.

Great Job ! Thank you.

Looks like a great tool for holding boards in place for soldering!

Another great design with a clear and interesting explanation! Thank you TheGoofy for sharing your work and knowledge with the community.

What are the recommended resolutions for the various parts?
Can they all be printed at .2mm, or should the threaded bolts be printed at .1mm?

I've printed it with 0.15mm layer height (sorry, I initially forgot to add this info to the description)

Jan 26, 2017 - Modified Jan 26, 2017
xnaron - in reply to TheGoofy

What is the diameter of your hotend nozzle hole?

0.4 mm

I've had same idea for my next bench vise, but made of steel ;) thanks for sharing.