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Spider Coupling with rubber insert: 4.75mm stepper motor to 8mm threaded shaft

by MiseryBot, published

Spider Coupling with rubber insert: 4.75mm stepper motor to 8mm threaded shaft by MiseryBot Apr 9, 2011
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This thing is an printable spider coupling designed for a rubber insert. It has robust clamping, and should be well balanced if tightened evenly.

If the rubber spider is cut cut correctly, there will be axial compression cushioning, angular cushioning, and rotary cushioning without slop.

This design must be kept in compression, it will not stay together under tension.

Video showing low-speed operation, with an exaggerated angle:

Video showing higher speed operation:

(Alternative experimental version here that uses silicone sealer: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7831 )


This is an original work, but owes inspiration or is similar to these things:

Universal Joint by twotimes:

Flexible shaft coupling by twotimes:

Prusa Mendel PLA Coupling by Griffin_Nicoll

Printed flexible beam coupling by jmgiacalone

Spider coupling - 5mm axis to M8 drivescrew by lievenstandaert:

Hoeken's Coupling by hoeken:


Print the parts. Use a solid profile for strength. Clean up. Run a 3mm drill through the clamping holes.

The clamps will have good clamping force, but limited travel. The part should press onto the shafts with some reasonable force. If they are loose on the shafts, please make the shaft hole sizes slightly smaller and re-print.

Take the printed spider, and use it as a pattern to cut a spider out of rubber. The thickness (Z) of the rubber is pretty important. Too thin and the coupler halves will touch. Too thick and it will get wobbly. The shape is also critical as far as symmetry. If it is not symmetrical, the shafts will wobble. The absolute size if the X & Y can be a little large, it will just "pre-load" the coupler a bit, and assure no lash.

A softer rubber (perhaps cut from a sheet of neoprene wet suit material) will give more cushioning. A harder rubber will make a stiffer coupling. I have considered using a slice from a rubber eraser. Maybe slice up a rubber bumper?

If you build this, please feed back what you use and how it works for you -- thanks!

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I think this one:
which is designed to work with a glue, is much better.

Elastomeric Coupling 0v1: 4.75mm stepper motor to 8mm threaded shaft

What about Sugru? Must be perfect for this....have to try :D

Instead of rubber, I've used Matterhackers' flexible PLA on a spider of my own design. Works great- expensive though.

Have a look at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:185408http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... . I have successfully followed the hot glue approach and created a two part mold for it.

Hot glue mold for Spider Coupling's (#7678) rubber insert

I'd be weary of hot glue if the ambient temperature is too warm. -- I used industrial hot glue (30 watt high-temp glue!) for a part on my printer (no where near the hotend), and while it never straight up liquified, it slowly migrated... -- like it basically leaked (over the course of several weeks) to a different area, and those parts weren't usable anymore.

Hot glue might work. I do not think of it as springy, but this does not have to be super compliant.

Perhaps you could use silicone instead of rubber? The oogoo (or what whas its silly name) invention would allow you to use regular (smelly) silicone kit. (just mix it with flour and/or some Sodium Bicarbonate, in case you missed it).

That would also allow for some overhangs on the spiders, so your coupling can take some tension too.