Hobby Clamps

by ModelStation Oct 17, 2011
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Fits together snugly, but it's so smooth that the jaw slips down. does the bar need to be roughened up to keep it from sliding?

I haven't needed to roughen it up. It will of course slide if there is too much pressure and/or the wedge is not pressed in enough.

I wonder if giving the inside edge of the bar and the corresponding face of the jaw hole a little texture... some fine ridges... would give it a bit more gripping power.

I am sure it would, the consequence is that there would be finite positions for clamping. The clamps that I have made (ABS) have held strongly enough that the bar will start to bend before the jaw loosens. Perhaps the problem is the wedge is not staying firmly seated? If so then some fine ridges to keep the wedge in place might be a good idea.

Good point, but it would also make the wedge hard to loosen. I'm still in favor of trying texture on the bar. Maybe I'll try a Dremel wire brush.

This part was designed to work with my old Thing-O-Matic, nearly eight years ago. Printers have come a long way since then, both cheaper and far higher print quality. It may be that the sizing is a bit off for your printer, either because of your printer's calibration or because the part sizing was tweaked to work with my Thing-O-Matic. (I suppose I should upload a non tweaked version...) Still, if the wedge is doing its job, you should not have slipping under normal clamping forces. I tested the clamps and found them to be able to hold five pounds of clamping force - which is not much, but adequate for their intended purpose. Is is possible that you are expecting too much from them?

Let us know how the texturing works out.

Can do. It's a great design (8 years and still going strong!)

Just posted a make.

Comments deleted.

Printed both clamps and spreader in PLA, came out perfect, very useful to clamp model parts glued together.
The only fix I'd suggest is making the jaw hole a little narrower to reduce play. Attached pic to show the gap.
Maybe it's cause the jaw is the only part printed face down and my print settings mess the width?

Anyone print this in PLA? The fit seems too tight leading me to believe that it was designed for ABS and associated shrinkage of the parts.

From how it printed for me the locking mechanism works well however it is hard to get tight in the first place.

Very nice design! I have made 6 of them. Thanks!

Worked great with ABS. I've got a couple of these in the 3D printer toolbox now.

Great design, prints nicely. One suggestion would be to include a filament size hole near the base of the clamp bar so after assembly a piece of filament could be pressed in to retain the jaw against sliding off. You might include a 3mm hole on one side and a 1.75 hole on the other side. I use 3mm and may just drill a hole or modify my copy of the file for future prints.

I tried printing the "two clamps" STL, and the wedges on it both peeled, nothing else did. Printing a wedge set with rafts+supports now.

Prints and looks great but there is a lot of slop and I have to print the wedges at 110% to get close to getting it to lock.  I saw that an extra shell is required.  I'm using Slic3r and I can't see an option for putting an extra shell on the outside.  Can anyone give me some pointers on what's going wrong?

I think makerware puts shells on the outside.

These printed very nicely with Slic3r on my Orca v0.30. How come there is a 1mm gap between jaw hole and bar thickness? It makes the jaw wobbly, and I'd imagine that 0.2mm i sufficient gap to slide freely.

My prints do not have any gaps like that. The original file SkethchUp file was tuned so that everything fit properly when printed with my TOM. You may need to either change your print settings or alter the SketchUp file.

My print also has a gap, the clamp bar could be 1.25mm thicker and I cant lock the clamp either because of the slack. I dont know about you guys but my printer is calibrated to 0.01mm on all axis. Dont want to be mean but I think this stl has been tweaked to compesate for a miss calibrated printer.

I don't know what to tell you. Many people have printed these out just fine. I have printed them on two different printers and they work nicely.

Have you tried a larger size wedge? There are four different sizes.

Individual printer calibration should not matter. All pieces would print with the same "error" so should still fit.

You could also DL the SketchUp file and tweak it to work for your printer.

Sounds good I will do that. FYI I broke the little prong on the clamp jaws, could use some beefing up.

If you rotate this 30 degrees counterclockwise around the Z and move things just a little bit you can print 2 with dual extruders at one time scripts on your replicators. The trick is to be sure you can move a copy 30mm along the X without overlap.

These are seriously awesome. Thanks!

These are really nice. I didn't listen well enough on my first print of these; they do need an extra shell.

These print very nicely with all of the parts in one stl. Nice job. http://youtu.be/xvNEqhaRKKchttp://youtu.be/xvNEqhaRKKc

i like this but how do i print out like 10 parts... i have a thing 0 with the ABP... but dont know how to print like 10 copys in auto...

I just got mine and have not managed to actually use the ABP yet. I think that is does not work in replicatorG 0026. You need to go to the alpha release. There may be other tricks as well.

I don't use the ABP. I think what you need to do is edit the gcode file by copying, then pasting the whole thing 10 times. But don't take my word for it, I haven't done that.