Tough PLA Ball and Socket

by MakerBotPartnerLibrary, published

Tough PLA Ball and Socket by MakerBotPartnerLibrary Sep 27, 2016
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Many engineering jigs and fixtures require joints or moving parts.This ball and socket represents one such joint that works significantly better with Tough PLA.

Print this model with default settings for each PLA and Tough PLA. Attempt to mount the ball into the socket. The PLA will consistently fail and the Tough PLA will elastically deform and snap fit around the ball. Furthermore, Tough PLA is lubricious meaning there is less friction between moving surfaces for a smoother application

This demonstrates elastic deformation and lubricity.

This design is a remix of "Ball and Socket (Slotted) Joint" posted by "FunbieStudios" on April 6, 2013.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:








200 Micron




Print in Tough PLA and PLA respectively.

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how does tough PLA compare to ABS?

In short it has a tensile strength that matches ABS, but is as easy to print as PLA.

Thanks! I printed on my Rep2X with ABS - with two different sockets: one open up, one rotated 90˚ on its side (in case of layer separation).
Printed at 0.15mm layer height, 12% infill, 2 shells, raft, and support (for the one on its side). Besides messy support cleanup, both worked. I scaled down the original model to about half (17.5mmx17.5mm diameter). It isn't as tight as I was hoping for, but good enough. Perhaps 3 shells and more infill, or scale it differently in Blender to retain thicker 'wings' on the socket.

This is from the MakerBot Website https://store.makerbot.com/filament/tough-pla-filament-bundle/

"MakerBot Tough PLA Filament is as tough as ABS and as reliable as PLA. Made with designers and engineers in mind, the Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle allows you to create durable, high-impact strength prototypes and fixtures. It includes three spools of Tough PLA Filament and the Tough PLA Smart Extruder+. MakerBot Tough PLA Filament is rigorously tested and optimized to work with the MakerBot Tough PLA Smart Extruder+.

Whereas printing with ABS can easily result in warping, Tough PLA Filament is engineered and tested for consistent results. It features a tensile, impact, and flexural strength that’s similar to ABS. Plus, it’s more durable than PLA —meaning that it can flex more than PLA before it breaks. You can print jigs and fixtures with threaded and snap fits that can withstand repeated use. Print without the hassles of ABS or the brittleness of PLA."