Pin Connectors V2

by tbuser, published

Pin Connectors V2 by tbuser Aug 5, 2011
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The pins in this version are a little stronger and their slightly different shape makes them easier to insert and less likely to break. It also lets you make pegs which are printed horizontally so they are much stronger. Pegs can be used to join two parts that have holes in them. The pinholes also now have a small bevel in them to help make it easier to insert.

The syntax is totally different as well. It was kind of dumb to use global variables in the last version, now you pass the variables to each method so it's easier to have pins of various sizes in one project.


// h = shaft height
// r = shaft radius
// lh = lip height
// lt = lip thickness

module pin(h=10, r=4, lh=3, lt=1, side=false)
// side = set to true if you want it printed horizontally

module pintack(h=10, r=4, lh=3, lt=1, bh=3, br=8.75)
// bh = base_height
// br = base_radius

module pinpeg(h=20, r=4, lh=3, lt=1)
// h = in this case, h is the length of both pins combined

module pinhole(h=10, r=4, lh=3, lt=1, t=0.3, tight=true)
// t = tolerance
// tight = set to false if you want a joint that spins easily

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This style didn't work well for me in PLA; the pins were too large and no amount of reasonable force would make them go in. I printed the pins at 92%X by 92%Y by 100%Z and was able to make these work. Even then the pins came loose because they wore down instead of flexing. I think ABS should be recommended.

I agree, I printed them in PLA but after some in and outs the pins broke in pieces. I will try again in nylon.


I have a use for these!

I just uploaded a new version that I'm much more happy with. One thing I did notice was that pins printed at 0.4 layer height are not as strong as 0.3 layer height. Also, the width over thickness ratio seems to make a big difference as well - 1.67 w/t are much stronger than my other profile that had a 1.5 w/t.

Hmm, this is the first part I've made where OpenSCAD has given me a non-manifold STL. The holes are fine, but the pins seem to have a problem. Netfabb fixed it for me, but this should definitely be looked into. Especially since I didn't think OpenSCAD could make a non-manifold STL, given that it's built on CGAL.

I did have a problem with the pegs, but I thought I fixed it. What code exactly resulted in a non-manifold stl?

Here's one that has a problem:


I found if I overlap them a little the problem is solved. Perhaps this has nothing to do with your pegs specifically. It's still weird to me that OpenSCAD would make something non-manifold. I wonder if this is a bug, or
some other kind of limitation?

Ah yes, I had the same problem, if you look at my peg module, you'll see I tell them to overlap by 0.05 in order to work around it. I think it's because OpenSCAD sometimes has trouble with coincident faces?

Perfect! I was just thinking how nice it would be to have access to the tolerance values. The shape looks better too; I'll definitely be using these soon.

Printing this now. I printed the previous version and broke two of the pins trying to insert them. The bevel at the front of the pin looks like it will solve my problem.

Are you printing with ABS or PLA?

I am using ABS as well. I printed out plate.stl but I cannot get the pins to fit in any of the holes. I have broken two of the push pin type pins trying to get them together.

It seems to me that because of the layered extrusion process the flat pins will be substantially stronger than the push pins in their current configuration. It may make sense to make push pins that can also be printed flat. They would look like a T instead of a pin with a cap. Printing the first s
et and breaking two push pins seems to support this theory.

If I get some working T pins I will send you the updates.

You might need to play with the tolerance setting if you can't get any pintacks to go in. Maybe print a picture of your pins, maybe you're getting blobs. Also make sure you try pushing into the side with the slight bevel around the hole.

I'm using ABS which will tend to bend more than PLA. If PLA is too brittle, you might want to try the horizontal pegs and/or reduce the lip thickness so it doesn't have to flex quite as much.