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  1. #1

    Is it possible to 3d print a chain-like structure?

    This is something I have been wondering for some time. Is it possible to 3D print a chain (linked chain) on a 3D printer? I just can't see how it would be feasible without having the links stick to each other. Has anyone done this? If so, what do you do so that the links aren't fused together?

  2. #2
    Student
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    I have seen chain mail type stuff and a new chain with hearts on thingiverse

  3. #3
    Super Moderator JohnA136's Avatar
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    My son made this chain like belt on our Replicator XL and it came out real good.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnA136 View Post
    My son made this chain like belt on our Replicator XL and it came out real good.

    How does that work? I would think the PLA/ABS would stick together. Perhaps it's not a "real" chain? Those pieces must not be independent of each other, correct?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator JohnA136's Avatar
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    They are independent, it is a flexible belt. You can grab any link and have it swivel on it's pin. It is all just a bit of 3D magic! Like printing the ball in the box or the dancing snowman.

  6. #6
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    How doesn't it stick? Are they using some other washable substance too? They can't on a makerbot though, right. What am I missing? Each link would need to connect somehow while being printer correct?

  7. #7
    Engineer-in-Training MysteryAlabaster's Avatar
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    Follow MysteryAlabaster On Twitter Add MysteryAlabaster on Facebook Add MysteryAlabaster on Thingiverse
    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    How doesn't it stick? Are they using some other washable substance too? They can't on a makerbot though, right. What am I missing? Each link would need to connect somehow while being printer correct?
    Actually, when you buy a new Makerbot one of the pre-loaded designs on the SD chip they give you is a chain link. It's actually really easy to do, there are tons of examples on Thingiverse.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator JohnA136's Avatar
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    Nope, they do not necessarily have to touch while printing. The magic is that each piece can just attach itself to the build platform and is printed as if it were a single picec, since it is layer by layer, they can become intertwined. Once you do one, you will see how it all works.

  9. #9
    Technologist Kingoddball's Avatar
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    Wow! Hey John, Do you have an STL for that? I'd like to try out that on my printer... Crazy!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator JohnA136's Avatar
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