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  1. #1
    Engineer-in-Training
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    How to design models that will be assembled like a 3D puzzle?

    My PowerSpec 3D Pro (Flashforge Creator clone) has build volume of about 235mm x 150mm x 145mm. How do I design models that will be assembled like a 3D puzzle?. One side of a car body will have to be printed in four pieces and assembled like a 3D puzzle. If I was making something out of wood the old fashion way, I would drill holes for dowels.

  2. #2
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    But a real woodworker would use Dovetail joints.

    But just design your parts to use half lap joints. It will leave a small seam, but that can easily be sanded and smoothed.

  3. #3
    Staff Engineer
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    Just make flanges on the back at a right angle to the surface, put matching holes in them, and assemble them with through-bolts. Bumps and hollows for keying, like on the parting line of a mold, will help with registration, and the bolts will keep it together.

  4. #4
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awerby View Post
    Just make flanges on the back at a right angle to the surface, put matching holes in them, and assemble them with through-bolts. Bumps and hollows for keying, like on the parting line of a mold, will help with registration, and the bolts will keep it together.
    That's how I do my bigger, more utilitarian models, where bolts won't detract from the appearance, but I was thinking this was a model car? So seams are the enemy? But yeah, that's basically a half lap joint, but with holes and bolts. I was just thinking the overlapping flanges and some CA or other glue to hold it together.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    so drill holes for 'dowels'.

    Pretty simple. You can either put holes in all parts and join with printed rods. Or have holes in some parts and rods in others.

  6. #6
    Hi all!
    I would like to join the conversation because I have a similar issue.
    I'm new to this forum and I still don't have a 3d printer, before buying it I'm collecting all the information that I can.


    I will explain my problem with an example:
    Supposing that I want to print a 30x4x0.3 cm plate, the mainstream printers on the market have a usual printing size of 20x20x25 cm or something like that.
    Now, are there some printing techniques to print this plate into two pieces to be joined, so that the final resistance will be similar to a one-piece print?
    I can't use bolts since it must be flat on the bottom side


    My mind comes to the "fingers" of a dovetail glued wood joint. So I'm asking if there is some usual way to handle these problems.
    What types of joints can be used in this case? Since the thickness is very small and brittle failures could occur.
    The plate is subject to bending so in the central part there could be some very high stresses.


    This is because now I have to print a custom case larger than 25 cm, so I'm wondering if I can print it with a smaller printer or I must buy a larger one; this is also a question valid for future similar cases.


    Thank you in advance
    Last edited by Bjack795; 10-24-2018 at 08:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    buy a larger print volume printer.
    Believe me it cuts down on a lot of post processing :-)

    Failing that just make jigsaw type joints. Pretty simple.

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