Flexible Coupling

by Gyrobot, published

Flexible Coupling by Gyrobot Dec 20, 2012
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51510Views 7219Downloads Found in Engineering


This is a fully printable flexible coupling without support. This type of coupling idea can deal with angular and offset alignment problems plus also end float issues.
Also provides a little bit of a lag, a sort of soft start between the connected shafts.


I realise that there are many variables required in peoples designs, (length, diameters, hole types etc), so the stl file provided is an example that people can print off. Please see the customiser version (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:44078), which has superseeded this version.

EDIT: Treated a PLA printout to a Carburettor Cleaner bath to make it even more flexible. See http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:98268 for instructions. Uploaded new images to show greater flexibility.
UK based Thingiverser's can buy from Toolstation : http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Carburettor+Cleaner/p30713
And Amazon : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tectane-Carburettor-Cleaner-400ml-Aerosol/dp/B0046B2TKS
Safety Data Sheet showing ingredients : http://www.siroflex.co.uk/PDF/TectaneCarburettorCleaner0021.9.DBA.pdf
Happy Coupling!!

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How long does the flexibility last?

There is a little flexibility all the time. The Tectane softening seems to last a couple of months.

Thanks for your reply. What do you think if this method is used for softening something like a pair of printed sandals which are in contact with the skin?

I would say definitely not. I would print the sandals in Filaflex instead :


In the Thing Files there is the stl only. Could you reupload the Catia source file? I would be very interested, in how you created the object.

What temperature do you print at to get a good print?

Hi, this is PLA extruded at 205 deg and printed on a glass bed with a PVA solution at 55 deg.

Hey Guys. I think you might be interested in this new material. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:159162http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Flexible Iphone4 Case

hello, I was wondering about what machine you use for printing, the quality is amazing. thank's

Hi, thank you for the compliment, it's an Orca 0.4x from Mendel Parts : http://www.mendel-parts.com/http://www.mendel-parts.com/

Case when applying a vertical pressure in the upper surface (aproximation)


Great FEA, and backed up by the real life experiment of squeezing by hand.

fill the empty space with silicone to get it stiffer and more break proof

To make this item stiffer/stronger then I would thicken the spirals or increase the quantity of them by modifiy the source part and re-make.

Or it could be made out of tougher material. I have made a metal one at home using a die spring for the spiral.

What would this be useful for? Usually one would want to lock rotation of the coupled shafts but allow x-y-z motion.. This doesn't seem like it would lock anything.

Many people that want to build remote control boats use these kinds of couplings , Its helpful because often the shaft has to be at a certain angle and the motor cannot be at that same angle.

Oh I see! Very cool. I have been educated :D

You are correct, it doesn't actually "lock" anything, that's why it's described as flexible. However feel free to use this design in any place where you want to connect two shafts that aren't perfectly aligned together.

I used this type of design to connect an electric motor to a gearbox where the gearbox was wobbling around on rubber mounts.