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  1. #1

    Printing over metal?


    I have a project where I will essentially need to print a handle over an allen key, to make a T handle. Unfortunately, I can't just buy an off the shelf T handle because the end of the hex is actually a special cut for a project we're working on. We could also over mold it in an injection molding machine, but it's going to be a short run, thus the cost of a mold wouldn't be viable.

    So, is printing and basically encasing metal within a 3D print doable? If so, does anyone have any suggestions on printers for something like this? My background is in injection molding, but I'm completely new to 3D printing, so any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    is this a one time deal for one allen wrench or do you need many to send along with a product?If a single why not just weld/braze a piece of round stock to it? Too new to 3d printing to suggest how this would be done, I guess you could model the handle to fit the key, then split it down the center and print in two parts. Put the key in and glue them together, at least that is how I would do it.. I mean if a one time deal I would braze a piece of steel rod to it and be done..

  3. #3
    Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Washington State, USA
    Add Roberts_Clif on Thingiverse
    Printing a two piece Tee bar handle would be what 3D Printing is all about. Though as stated before it is a pretty expensive tool to only 3D Print one Tee Bar Handle.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    very simple. you print 2/3rds of the print, so that you can insert the allen key so that it's flat to the surface of the print. then print the rest.
    either pausing the print, or doing it in two seperate prints. starting the second at the exact height the first one finishes.
    I presume the handle end of the allen key has the standard right angle bend ?

    As far as what printer - what's your budget.
    bear in mind that once you have a 3d printer you will find hundreds of uses for it.
    So don't limit your budget by thinking it would be just for this one job - it absolutely would not be :-)

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