3D Printed Vise

by diodepress, published

3D Printed Vise by diodepress May 19, 2016

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Fusion 360

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This is a 3D printed model of a functioning vise!

NOTE: I created this print to lightly hold electronic components while soldering, etc. It's not designed for, and should not be used for rigorous clamping force. This is a plastic model of a vice, not a real vice, and should be used according. As noted by user DevWolf in the comment section, PLA plastic is very rigid and can break under stress in unpredictable ways creating shrapnel like pieces that can cause injury.

This model has tight tolerances and may require a bit of sanding or cleanup at the end to fit together properly, depending on your printer, filament, etc.

I also used Simplify 3D to slice the model and generate supports, so results with other programs will vary.

I began with a base model provided by Tom over at the Ox Tools YouTube channel (links below) of his Wilton Baby Bullet vise. Originally it was designed to be machined out of metal, so I took the CAD files and modified them to be 3D printable, and finished the work that would normally occur during the machining process. I also worked to optimize it for better printing.

You can see a video of how this model was put together, as well as see it in action over on my YouTube channel (as well as lots of other projects): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZy8RGfQPGo

Be sure to upload a picture if you print or modify a version, I'd love to see the results!

See print setting for printing tips.

Special thanks to Tom over at Ox tools for sharing the original model and allowing me to share it as well, and for the documenting the build of the real metal version of this vise!

You can find his info below:
You can check out his build of the REAL vise in a 24 part video series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4dWOQv96jM

UPDATE 5/26/16: Modified description to clarify usage reccomendations

Print Settings

Printer Brand:




Doesn't Matter








I used no support on the inside of the vise body (inside threads) since it would be too hard to remove. See the image showing the support configuration I found to work best.

I printed the lead screw at 100micron layer height, with 75% infill. I also printed it horizontally, so there is less of a weak point between the layers when tightening the vise (see image) versus stacking vertically, but results may vary. This is a model of a vice, not a real vice!


Fitting lead screw into vise

Ensure that the lead screw threads are printed cleanly, and clean off any stray bits. Also ensure that the threaded opening of the vise is cleaned of debris and stray bits.

I've tried to get the threads to mesh well right from the start, but I found that threading it into the vise body a little bit, then backing out, and repeating worked well until it was fully threaded in. If it binds up, and you force it, you'll most likely break it off inside the vise.

Once it's threaded in and out a handful of times, it loosens up and operates smoothly.

Securing retaining clip

I used 3, M3x8 socket head bolts to secure the clip. The holes are sized small, so threads are created as it is secured the first time.

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Comments deleted.

is 200 microns required for this print

Hi, is anyone's front part of the vice to big to fit in the back part of the vice. I made sure that they are the same scale it is just a very tight fit. I am printing with PLA at .2mm resolution.

Mine was impossibly tight. It took a bunch of filing and sanding to get it to fit. Finally, it went in smoothly.

I ran across this on youtube and I totally love it. Thank you for making it and putting it on here so I can have one too!

Comments deleted.

wont work with cura puts suports where dont want them

Well no shit. Thats why you pay for Simplify3D to not deal with that crap.


Right on. Yeah its the only way to go.

Excellent work, thanks for sharing!

I watched Tom make the metal one, this is a cool project to try. I just ordered my first printer and am collecting project to print! Thanks

I watched Tom make the metal one, this is a cool project to try. I just ordered my first printer and am collecting project to print! Thanks

I watched Tom make the metal one, this is a cool project to try. I just ordered my first printer and am collecting project to print! Thanks

I watched Tom make the metal one, this is a cool project to try. I just ordered my first printer and am collecting project to print! Thanks

Great reverse engineering :)
Would have been nice if the jaw pads were separate, like "Baby Bullet Vise" by kencaid: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:219687

Baby Bullet Vise Model
by kencaid

While your idea is clever, its better off being used as a positive for a mold or printed with SLS, not FDM. PLA stress fractures from very small loads when applied over time (left over night). Its also got an overall (though very stiff) brittle nature. Using PLA in a vice is dangerous, as anyone who has tested stresses on PLA can explain. You can lose an eye or get sliced from shrapnel, PLA, because its so ridged, is, as explained by people who were in front of it, "explosive". No there's no combustion here but people who encounter it will understand what is meant by that. Its dangerous in a vice. But because of the design flaw in the crank (especially if printed vertically) I question rather you would ever be able to put any real weight into it at all (i recommend using a more robust material there and suggest sideways construction or moving away from FDM altogether for this application. For soldering applications, this is a terrible choice. Get proper arms and clips, theres even stations on here designed for just that. Not vices.....
Please reconsider using PLA or and FDM for something that involves high sheer pressures, as FDM machines have Achilles heels in the prints along the layer lines, unlike an SLS print, which is fused completely. Again you are better off casting the prints for this design and melting soda cans in the back yard to fill the molds with, which i would be happy to help you with (message me). Please be careful people. Use your head and do your homework, it helps to study material modulus and other, more complex, specs on materials. Anyone can print, but it takes a legit intellectual / engineer and a cross study between math, materials science, physics, mechanics, engineering, thermodynamics, and CAD design. Without that, you are just another kid with a printer. Rise above it, make the effort. We all know the machines are not mainstream. The only mainstream thing about them is the price, and frankly, I think it was a little funny when the media tried to report on it as if they thought they could do it without knowing anything beyond "3d printer, home use, mainstream price"... OH media.... face palm.... But I digress. Don't waste your chance to become something more.

you sir are not as wise as you want people to think you are or you would look at all the information in front of you. the videos are there for you to watch but you did not at all. otherwise you would know this vice was made to hold a circuit board for a few minutes while he is soldering only. did he say it is to clamp and hold items overnight? maybe you better lay off melting the metal, the gases the put off are not good for you. common rise above that cross study. don't make the effort waste your chance to become something more.

PC Plus and stonger filaments are available for things like this, look it up, And anyone can print, dont ever tell someone they cant, if they really want to trial and error can go far.

Comments deleted.

DevWolf, thanks for your feedback. I've updated the description and title of the listing to reflect this, as well as my intentions for the model. I agree that there are better ways to create a strong, functioning vice 3D printed vice, that was not the scope of this project. It was to model a specific vice and the lead screw is absolutely the weak link in the design, so I had noted that it will be stronger printed horizontally.

I finally found the time to print the last peace. It came out pretty good but the hole was a tiny bit to small so I had to sand the rod that goes into it quite a bit to make it fit. The screw thingy (sorry, English is not my first language) was near perfect.
All considered I don't think there is anything wrong with your design but my printer is just not 100%.
Lately there is also some ghosting and strange lines in some of my prints.

But for now I am very happy with your design and maybe I will even print another one after I improved my printer.

i found a bit of oil, whether its kitchen cooking oil (spray oil included) or just regular machine oil goes a long to help the threads go together smoothly, i used some on a very tight thread and its very smooth and no longer graunchy. very nice design, well done.

CRC Silicone works better then WD 40 , and just print the 2 dimensions at a 0.1 mm thinner as plastics expand with different temperatures, do a dimensions accuracy test

CRC Silicone works better then WD 40 , and just print the 2 dimensions at a 0.1 mm thinner as plastics expand with different temperatures, do a dimensions accuracy test

I find that Silicone Oil works best between PLA plastic surfaces.

I'll have to give that a try, thanks!

First of all, thanks for this nice design!

I printed all the parts except for '02_DiodePress_Vice_ViceBack'. That part is planned for the weekend.
Until now the parts are a bit to tight and I had to use some sandpaper to make it fit.
The holes for the screws, on the other hand, are a bit to loose.
Please understand that this is not an attack on your hard work. I think it is more likely to blame to the brand of filament I'm using. And maybe even the used printer (Wanhao Duplicator i3) an/or Cura as the slicer.

When it is all finished I'll post a photo.

Sorry about the fit issues you are having. I suppose part of it is that the tolerances and design are optimized for my print setup, since that's all I can really test. Let me know how it goes, and I can always update the model if there are issues that come up for others as well. I also added a note about the possibility of cleanup, etc. in the description, so people are not surprised.

Thanks for the feedback, looking forward to seeing your print!