Impossible Dovetail Joints

by damienb, published

Impossible Dovetail Joints by damienb May 1, 2013
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Give to anyone and let them wonder how these impossible dovetail joints were assembled...

Like all my impossible objects, I've published a tutorial on my blog to model this with inventor using the master sketch method (http://wp.me/p3gI7M-64)


No real difficulty to print these pieces. Mine are in PLA, 0.25mm layers, 2 shells no support. The overhangs shouldn't be complex to print.

There is a 0.5mm clearance in the dovetails. I first printed these piece and they were sliding too easily to my taste. You don't want the puzzle to come loose when someone is handeling it, it would ruin the charm.

So I've regenerated the files with a 0.25mm clearance (in the zip). I just reprinted the PartA in 0.25mm and with the partB 0.5mm the result is perfectly snapped.

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Do you think this can be used as an actual joint for two straight pieces?

In theory yes, though it would be hard to machine if you keep the round edges :)
The only potential issue is that to assemble both pieces you have to:

  • place them parallel with a delta Z (to align the openings)
  • slide them inward with an angled movement vector
    (sorry difficult to explain without the mechanical pieces in hand)
    So, because of this weird assembly movement it might be difficult to build a furniture...

Thanks, hope you enjoyed it.