Friction Welding Rivets
by mifga, published
As it happens, a Dremel or similar rotary tool can be used to perform a "blind rivet" using friction welding techniques: 3D printed rivets fused into a 3D printed surface.
More on this technique as I begin to share projects I created that make use of blind rivets.
After experimentation, I have determined that it is better to print these flat with the long thread runs on the horizontal plane. And that printing 1/2 to 3/4s of the rivet produces a part that can still spin and fuse pretty much the same way that an entire rivet works.
Also, printing these from the base of the rivet up to the mandrel tends to produce rivets that break too easily on the layer, so while it is tempting to bring a whole army of them on their bases, I recommend flat instead, but perhaps nine or twelve of these at a time.
Included in this project are two test parts -- a "base" and a "pancake" layer. You can line up the hole through the pancake with the depression in the base to teach yourself the gentle touch required to touch the spinning rivet to the base such that the "melt zone" is shared equally by both base of blind rivet and surface of base. At that point, stop the rotary tool, holding the rivet in place until it cools. It can help to use something to press against the rotary head so that it spins down more quickly. The release the mandrel from the rotary tool and you have a nice blind rivet!