When it comes to 3D printed objects, most people immediately envision little trinkets and toys cluttering up a coffee table or desk. This is far from the whole story, however. As the materials space within the industry continues to develop, typical FDM/FFF printers are becoming more and more capable of printing highly functional items, and in some cases even tools.
Besides maybe a hammer or saw, what’s one of the most rugged tools you can think of? How about a vise? A staple of any tool shed, garage, or manufacturing facility, a typical vise utilizes a stationary jaw and a parallel movable jaw, which are tethered to a threaded screw. When a lever is turned, the screw moves the one jaw closer to the other, clamping and securing whatever object may be in between (hopefully not a finger, or worse, a head). One wouldn’t typically consider 3D printing such a tool, but a 17-year-old from France has done just that.
Adrien Mary is not your typical teen. He has a zest for making things and working with his hands, and for the tender age of 17, is quite advanced in the field of 3D design and modelling.
“I study industrial design, and discovered 3D printing in high school while we were working on part design,” Mary explained to 3DPrint.com. “Eventually I was able to buy my own printer in July 2014 because I intend to start working in the field this coming summer and am passionate about new technology, design, etc.”
Mary decided to take his knowledge and experience he was able to gain in school to the next level by purchasing an Ultimaker 2 3D Printer last year. Shortly after purchasing the machines he decided that he wanted to design something original. At his current job he is constantly using tools such as a vise, and thought to himself, why not design and 3D print one? After all, there are thousands of designs for various objects online but nothing for a sleek and sturdy vise.
He started off designing the tool using software program CATIA V5 by Dassault Systèmes. The design is made up of a total of 6 parts, which are entirely 3D printed, including a fixed jaw, mobile jaw, main screw, mobile jaw guide, stationary support structure, and a blocking pin. The only thing that’s added besides the printed parts is a drop or two of powerful glue. This too can be eliminated if one was to print the parts with ABS and then use acetone to bond them together in the required areas.
Once designed, Mary printed the parts on his Ultimaker 2 machine at a speed of 40mm/sec and layer heights of 0.2mm, using PLA plastic. Although this vise functions, you wouldn’t want to use it for any project requiring substantial holding pressure. Mary is now ordering and intends to use the much stronger ColorFabb XT filament, a copolyester material created in collaboration with Eastman Chemical Company. This should create a much more reliable vise, one which would likely stand up to a greater deal of pressure and use.
As for Mary’s next project, he’s still considering his options, but he tells us to stay tuned to his Thingiverse page to eventually find out. Let us know if you have printed this vise out. Discuss in the 3D Printed Vise forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below.