Kcs clamp

by KidCrazy, published

Kcs clamp by KidCrazy Apr 13, 2013
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Kcs clamp by KidCrazy is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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This clamp has no special purpose. It's the first part of a reading lamp that I'm designing.

My design goals are:

  • no vitamins (i.e. completely printable except electrics/electronics)
  • easy printing (avoiding excessive overhangs, etc.)
  • easy assembly

Update: added the sketchup file

Update 2013-04-30: Added stronger spring.

Update 2013-05-15: Added teeth in http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:89457


Print each one of the left and right part with full infill. The spring should be one extrusion width wide, so each layer is printed in one continuous line for the most part. Slic3r tends to cut it into parts somehow, but I had no problems with the result either.
Maybe you will have to make the spring in a separate print, because it tends to come of the bed when the nozzle moves over to another part.

I printed with a 0.5mm nozzle and an extrusion width of 0.55mm. If you have any problems using other settings, please tell me.

When you're done printing, clean up the joint very thoroughly. Any bumps will avoid the clamp to open and close smoothly. After that, assemble the left and right part of the clamp by pushing the "male" part of the joint into the "female" part. You will need a slight amount of force for this. Then insert the spring as seen on the images and you're done.

Additional information for Ultimaker/Cura users:

It seems as if Cura has some problems with producing the gcode for the spring. v1.1 seems to produce better results, but still not as good as the same sliced wit slic3r 0.98. Please consider using another slicer for the spring if it shouldn't come out springy enough.

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I printed out 2 of these. They don't have a tight grip and they don't open up wide. Very cool though. It would be better if it had teeth instead of completely smooth. I can only print up to 0.4mm!

Elegant design!

If you're making changes/improvements then how about some small interlocking teeth at the tips of the two main pieces?

I will see if I can make it this evening. Shouldn't be too big of a change. I don't recommend printing it in one piece, because the spring must already be under compression when the clamp is completely closed. Also, your slicer or printer might glue the pieces together during print which would prevent clean opening and closing. The clamp is pretty simple to assemble, so I don't see any advantage in printing it as a single piece.

Oh good point about the spring compression, didn't think of that. I was mostly suggesting the single piece print because I've noticed designers get mad extra brownie points here on TV for single piece printed assemblies. I think it's more for cool factor than usefulness, at least for most designs.

Keep up the great work, I love your push/push switch design too!

I like this object - but perhaps one fewer kink in the spring? I've made it my Thing of the Week on http://3DGeni.us3DGeni.us:


Thanks for a great piece of design!

Yay :) Thanks for your attributes. This really pushes my motivation.

About the springs... I'm still experimenting, but I noticed that it's a fine line that defines optimal springiness: Make the kinks too narrow and the material doesn't have enough space for optimal compression. Make the kinks too wide and they will deform permanently at full compression. Somewhere between is the optimum. Additionally, springiness depends on extrusion width and height of the spring. I'm no engineer, so unfortunately I don't know how to calculate the best parameters.

Anyhow, I'm testing a new spring for this clamp atm and will upload it asap.

Much more effective! I've printed out the new version and have appended it to my review. Fast work!

How much gripping power does it have?

How much gripping power does it have?

I didn't measure. But it can hold a sheet of A4 paper without problems. The spring can propably made a bit stronger and you could add some teeth to the clamp for additional grip.

This is a wonderful design. Very nice!

thanks a lot :) it took some time until i got it working like it is now.

ingenious and stilish!