Lockable Ball & Socket Pivot Joint For Helping Hands

by whowhatwhere, published

Lockable Ball & Socket Pivot Joint For Helping Hands by whowhatwhere May 4, 2010


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One thing I really want to be able to do with the maker bot is make more things to help me make more things.

This is an experimental design for a lockable pivot joint intended to be used (with about 5 brothers) in making a set of helping hands to hold circuit boards etc.

This should print without any problems on a makerbot (although it's small at the bottom so may be a little unstable - need to watch that :)

The sections join onto each other and the nut can be used to tighten the joint or lock it in a fixed position.

This could also be used to create pose-able armatures.

The full design for the helping hands is not ready (I've not finished modeling the clamp grips (variations of the same mechanical principle).

This is my first attempt at a screw/bolt thread, if anyone tries to print this out please let me know how it goes, I try very hard to respond to feedback in my designs and I'm happy to take suggestions.

An updated version of this part can be found in my helping hands design: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2972


This design has not been tested

1 STL 2 parts - Print at least 2 in order to see how they connect to each other.

SKP included for those who are interested.

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Additionally, the thread is reversed! I had same issue with a downloaded thread used for my model!
With this thread, the nut would need to be screwed counterclockwise.
Just resize it by "-1" scale in Sketchup.

How is it supposed to lock?? Screw is not conical!

What is the size of this object?
If that
´s an M8 or M10-screw, then the details may be much too fine to print.
A extruded thread of plastic at 0.25mm layer-height is 0.25*1.8=0.45mm thick
and that´s the maximum resolution I ever achieved.

The question of resolution is what I wanted to know about, The core around which I make the thread is 10mm in diameter, To give you an idea about the thread size, the nut is 5mm deep and has only 2.5 rotations.

I thought it best to create a "chunky" thread to help it print. After I get my Cupcake set up I want to run some tests and see exactly how fine a thing I can print as I think there is going to be a gap between the logical resolution and what can be cleanly achieved.

I like the idea - a completely printable PCB clamp. Were you thinking that the base would have multiple sockets for multiple flexi-arms? One thing keep an eye on is the size of the base - a couple of other PCB clamps posted here were unstable on account of having too small a footprint. One way around that is the base on this clamp:


One other suggestion is to make the nut something other than a hex so that you can operate it more easily by hand. Perhaps a fluted thumbscrew-type deal would work.

PCB Holder Mrk II.
by vietor

Good idea about the a fluted thumbscrew, easily done so I'll make the mod tonight.

I'm hoping to get the full PCB clamp/helping hands done tonight (having to go to work is so disruptive!). I'll keep in mind the stability issue, at one point I was considering giving it clip so that it grip the edge of the desk, but I have another solution I think might work better.

The main driv
e was of course to come up with ways to eliminate the non printable components such a nuts and bolts.