This week’s selection is “Make It Fit: Introduction to Tolerance Analysis for Mechanical Engineers” by Jason E Tynes.
While it’s easy to 3D print single objects, trouble begins when multiple objects must be assembled together. That’s a requirement for many of today’s 3D print projects, which are often simple machines with a number of parts.
Designing such assemblies is a complex process that usually requires use of advanced CAD tools. These simulate the fitting and motions of the parts to ensure they act as intended, and don’t collide with each other.
However, once such parts are 3D printed something is often encountered: they don’t fit together.
This is because typical 3D printers don’t reproduce parts with as much accuracy as a CAD program might do. If a notch is 10mm wide, and the insert is also 10mm, it will fit, won’t it?
Actually, it’s quite unlikely. There should be a very small gap between the parts to ensure you are able to push the insert into the notch.
What is that gap? How big should it be? How can you make these parts truly fit together in real life, and not just in a CAD system?
It’s even more complex when you consider the ability of the printer to produce dimensionally accurate parts. The machines are always imperfect to some degree, and thus that 10mm notch might actually be 10.05mm or 9.95mm instead, because of the machine’s inaccuracy.
The science of tolerances can come to the rescue in such situations.
This book introduces the concepts of tolerances and the process involved in analyzing them, with the goal of making parts that truly fit properly together.
If you’re new to designing and 3D printing assemblies of parts that must fit together, you might consider looking at this book.
Your parts are only as good as the tolerances they meet.
We’re an Amazon Associate and earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. Help support our 3D print news service by checking out this book!