A Better Glass Clip... With a BONUS

by LeftAngle, published

A Better Glass Clip... With a BONUS by LeftAngle Apr 18, 2013
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Like most who use a glass plate to print, I was using spring steel paper clips. They work great until the extruder head gets close to the edge of the build platform. When that happens, duck. Spring clips start flying and once, the head draged the clip, the glass and the build completely out of the machine, where if fell to the floor.

The other day, I was cleaning up shop and came across a drawer full of clips designed to hold sockets to steel strips (pic 1).


After eyeballing the clips and the glass on top of my aluminum build plate, I took a pair of pliers and carefully bent one of the clip's ends to about 80º (pics 2 & 3). These things are hardened, so care must be taken, otherwise they will snap. Heating them may help remove some of the temper, but you don't want them to lose their spring.

The clip slid neatly onto the build plate from underneath, around the edge and onto the surface of the glass (pics 4 & 5).

Now my glass plate is held securely with nothing sticking up to grab an errant extruder nozzle.

About that bonus...

Now, when I went to publish this, the default "You need to publish something that isn't an image" message appeared, so I went through my stuff, and if you're a gearhead, here's something for you... A spark plug wire separator, known as a "comb". As you can see, I've gone a little overboard on my own ride, but here's the basic comb. It'll work on both 4 and 8 cylinder cars.


Whenever I'm planning on a trip, I print out bunches of my favorite puzzle as give-aways


People always like getting something for nothing and I enjoy making that happen. I print 24 at a time, and my first print of the night was slightly off-center, putting one of the pieces directly on top of one of my glass clips. The final three photos show the results. The part printed fine with only a small indentation outlining the shape of the clip. Proof this clip works for me.

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Comments deleted.

Interesting. I have tried to search for these clips to buy but am coming up empty. Any ideas on where they can be purchased or if they have a technical name? Thanks.

The clips come from a piece of hardware called a "socket rail."

Thanks but I found something that worked though I am not sure of their availability outside of the UK: http://www.instructables.com/id/Maximizing-3D-Printer-Build-Space/

I'll have to try this, because those style clips don't work at all for holding sockets. :) Would be great if they can hold my glass.

You're right. That's why they were in my junk drawer. I use 1/4" glass so the clips might have to be squeezed a bit to fit thinner glass. I also smear thermal grease between the aluminum plate and the glass. As well as helping heat transfer, it also holds the glass in place.
Good luck.