Adjustable Groove-Joint Pliers

by jsteuben, published

Adjustable Groove-Joint Pliers by jsteuben Mar 28, 2015


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This is a pair of adjustable pliers based on a rotating tongue-and-grove mechanism. They are fully functional, and are especially useful in cases when non-marring tools are required.

The form of these pliers, especially in terms of the handle shape and ergonomics, is derived from a very old pair of pliers manufactured by the Diamond Tool and Horseshoe company. However, the adjustment mechanism is of a more modern style, and is identical in principle to modern commercial products available from many manufacturers.

This model may be scaled as needed depending on your needs, and functions well at any size. Since Galaktican reports that the snap ring is a bit tight, it may be advisable to scale this component up by 2-3% relative to the other parts.

Also, thanks to the folks at 3dPrint.com for writing a nice article about this thing! http://3dprint.com/55290/3d-printed-pliers-tools/


All three parts should be printed in the given orientations with no support material. A high infill density is necessary if the pliers are to be used for heavier gripping tasks.

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If you don't mind a bit of self-promotion here, I did a video about these pliers over at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGVGSwVGbUc
Overall, I was really impressed with these!

The post is too thin to support work and snapped off in a couple minutes. I just drilled a hole and use a bolt to hold this together.

I also had problems with the snap ring being to tight when printed in PLA. My solution was to remove it from the printbed as soon as it was done, keeping the part hot and deformable. Then it is quite easy to position correctly and squeeze onto the locking rod.

I was thinking this could be good for pulling fuses, since we are using platics, they are non-conductive

How strong would you say these are?
Would there be any need to beef up the ends of the jaws to prevent them from snapping under higher load?

I'd say that these are quite strong, depending on the material and settings that you use. Ideally, a high strength material such as Taulman nylon or ABS/PC alloy should produce a pair of pliers that are stronger than the user. I don't think that beefing up the distal ends of the jaws is necessary; I ran a test yesterday and found that the pivot pin will fail in shear before the jaw surfaces yield. You should definitely make sure that this pin, as well as the tongue boss, is printed 100% solid. Cheers!

What do you suggest for slicer settings? infill/solid layers etc.

For the two main pieces I recommend 3 perimeters, 90% infill density. No support is required. If you are using Slic3r you can knock the infill density down to 25-50% and set the solid infill threshold area at 90 mm^2; this will print the handles hollow, but keeps the main pin and tongue/grooves solid. I would print the snap ring totally solid. Cheers!