Plastic spring

by Bagelturf, published

Plastic spring by Bagelturf Jan 1, 2013

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46894Views 3744Downloads Found in Engineering


An experiment to make a plastic "coil" spring printed in a single piece. The design has concentric cylinders that restrict the movement to mainly vertical and an outer springy part that provides resilience.

The more vertical bars, the stiffer the spring. The more horizontal rings, the greater the extent of movement. It's resistant to twisting, but would do very badly in tension I think.

Also note that the spring part need not be on the outside of the concentric cylinders: it could be embedded between them, so protected from damage.


Print with at least two extra shells, use 0.2 layer thickness, and print in ABS. These details are important because it won't work otherwise.

The three shells are needed because the extruded plastic has to bridge the verticals to make the springy parts and it is this material that makes it into a spring. The 0.2 layer thickness ensures that the horizontal rings in the model align with the slicing and they get printed. PLA is probably too stiff to make this a useful object.

The Blender model uses booleans to add the verticals and the horizontals to the basic cylinder objects, so be sure to look on the other layers for those.

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Nice piece. This would be perfect if it was a customizable thing.

Current version of Slic3r does not really like this model.... Seems to crash it when I try to add it.

Sounds like an excellent opportunity to fix that particular bug in Slicr.

Any idea how strong this would be with just the outer bars -- or possibly with two layers of bars? I'm thinking it would be a good spring for some landing gear on a quadcopter. Above the spring would be an attachment point. Below the spring would be a landing foot. I'd want the spring to lightly flex but not break in any direction as an landing coming in at a spin could put any direction of force on the spring.

Printed at .10 infill in Nylon.

Hey guys, could you print it just like this? Or did you have to use some support structure? Nice creation bagelturf!

While this probably isn't terribly useful as a spring, due to the properties of the plastics, I wonder if it would work as a pillow (where a bit of permanent deformation is fine), if you make a 3d mesh? might be a quite useful alternative to something like http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/DIY_RNCDesigns.htm#Pillowshttp://www.bushwalking.org.au/...

Made it and it works. I used accelerated mode on a Rep 1, with 20% infill. Will try it again with 0% infill, and then 100%. Neat project!

Very clever! A really nice idea.

Good idea! , but the problem is the material. It will eventually stretch and the "spring" will stop working. The material needs to have combination of rigidity and elasticity...(that's why real springs are made of spring steel not plastic). I don't wont to be rude, it is nice design and idea but you are wasting plastic, energy and your time with any kind of "plastic spring design", including mine ;).

I disagree vector. While I haven't made this spring here, I've made a bunch of these: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:21234http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... and they work wonderfully. Printed in PLA and spring spring spring. They're all still working just fine.

Parameterized printable spring
by obijuan

How dragonator sad. You can't compare PLA & ABS plastic with plastic specifically designed for making springs (protected against aging and thermal deformation through unique form-stabilisation formula). It is possible anewsome that they work, but your plastic is thermally deformable = ____ (3 point for right answer) I' sure that they will be good for the "purpose of developing" something. ;)

I wonder how the nylon I just got would hold up?

You can't compare 3D print plastics with these kinds of plastics. Both ABS and PLA aren't rally known for their elastic properties. PA is, but there are few printers capable of printing PA (nylon).

I posted the link because of the "that's why real springs are made of spring steel not plastic" comment ;)

take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_tTdjQp2kshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I find it refreshing when some won't listen to the people saying "it is impossible" and "it is a waste of time".

What infill % did you use? I have not tried printing this yet, but I intend to. Excellent experiment. I can see a lot of uses for this!