Mar 29, 2015

Snap-Together Bracelet is a Snap (almost)

The Bracelet - a view all around.
After much experimentation with #3DPrinting snap-together parts, I've landed on a design that is almost reliable and almost meeting my criteria for a success in this area.

There are 3 criteria I had:

1 - Easy to print (reliable, minimal likelihood of printing issues due to the design)
2 - Easy to connect the parts together
3 - Hard to come-apart (or at least hard enough that connected parts don't fall apart unexpectedly)

These are hard criteria to balance, but the design I came up with has so far proven to be adequate for at least a simple application - the bracelet.

I started by printing a Pi Bracelet - wearing it a few days (even though one of my best friends didn't approve) and proved to myself that it would not fall off when I didn't want it to. Then I went into the real test - kids' bracelets. I created a full alphabet and a few special emoji-parts and created the name bracelet pictured here for my daughter. More challenging still, was that I reduced the scale to 80% to make it more appropriate for her 8-yr old wrist. The design held up - although the brim material definitely makes the links very stiff at first. A little flexing on each joint and the bracelet was flexible enough to wear.

Still on the print bed. Notice the smiley link is "shadowed",
meaning it got shifted during printing.
This design - 9 links, took 67 minutes to print at a layer height of 0.15mm.
Notice in the picture while the links were still on the printer bed - the smiley emoticon got messed up during printing. Luckily I found a way to salvage the rest of that print job (fodder for another post for sure - adding to my little box of fails) - and simply reprinted just that one link (which took 6 minutes).

COMING SOON - I'll write a post about the link design, as i think it's useful and could be improved by others... and I'll post the alphabet of links so people can print their own bracelets!

Here's the model of the bracelet links. You can see the link design.

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