by juniortan, published

NutCam by juniortan Apr 20, 2010

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Adam and I
Bre Pettis

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Prototyping an adjustable nut-cam combo for rock climbing protection. Nuts are great, but not adjustable. Cams are fast to use, but costly due to design and manufacturing complexities. Hopefully this design can help bridge the gap, melding a nut-like approach with cam-like adaptability.


  1. Broken up some parts for easier printing
  2. Glue in the slots. I had to sandpaper everything to fit properly
  3. Use M3 nuts to secure


  1. Design is incomplete for two things: nylon strappy 'finger-rings' for adjusting the side cams, and of course the steel cable.
  2. You might need to scale this up slightly to print properly in a cupcake.
  3. DO NOT CLIMB ON THESE :-) I am just using plastic for prototyping the design angles and usability from the 'grab from rack and shove into crack' standpoint. Once qualified, the test mules will probably be made from steel for a start.

Assembly summary:

  1. Steel cable for nut: 2.5mm dia. (which should yield about 10KN)
  2. Metal sleeve for crimping steel cable
  3. Steel pins: 2mm dia, 11mm length for 2 joints

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this is awesome, I love the idea, great work!

@makerbot -at this point, am leaning towards no springs/triggers. but once i get them printed, i might change my mind :-) design parameters still call for a one-handed deployment via 2 looped nylon straps secured to the slots on the sliders, for the fore and middle fingers; in fact, they will be very similar to how you deploy a cam. anyway, that's why i am posting the sketchup files - go ahead and have fun with the source :)

V3 files just uploaded, which should address shortcomings as highlighted by Bophoto. Any spring, handles will be attached to steel bolts/pins through the slider holes. This eliminates more weak areas.

Load bearing/transmission lines have also been strengthened. Now i just have to wait for USPS to finally deliver my spare nichrome wires (been a long time
amp;gt;:o ) to print and prototype :-)

Very interesting. Do you intend to make it spring-loaded with a trigger mechanism?

updated for less load/design complexity (although more parts to print) - its prototyping after all :-)

Bophoto - Thanks! point well taken, especially the sliders. I am redesigning it to have just one rail (on one side) which allows me to make the 'groove' and 'clutch' a lot heftier, as well as allowing the wedge to be printed lying down (I am concerned about sagging/bulging if printed upright). Will post hopefully in the next few hours.

Love the idea - though Im a little iffy about the flex joint in the sliders.. maybe a slider gripping directly around the main wedge would be a lot stronger with less complexity. or alternatively that rocker point gotta be a LOT fatter so I don't end up showering little rocker joints on the belay.

if you stand up the main wedge this could actually be printed on a Makerbot.