Design of the Week: M3 Bolt Sorter

By on May 13th, 2024 in Design, news

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The GridFinity M3 Bolt Sorter [Source: MakerWorld]

This week’s selection is the Gridfinity M3 Bolt Sorter by MakerWorld contributor LayerLux3D.

LayerLux3D is a prolific 3D artist that has posted quite a number of complex 3D models on a variety of popular sites. The Bolt Sorter is actually one of their less-complex models, even though it is quite ingenious.

The problem being solved here is the ever-present DIY dilemma of figuring out which bolts are which. After building several 3D printers myself, I am left with piles of M3 bolts of varying dimensions. Is that the 8mm or the 10mm?

This design automates the measurements using gravity. An unknown M3 bolt is placed at the top, and it rolls down a channel. It passes over multiple holes of specific dimensions, and falls into the first one that fits. This is quite similar to a coin sorter, except with bolts.

The bolts fall into separate bins for later use, which will be very handy. Even better, the entire system is designed using the very popular GridFinity system that’s used for generic storage in drawers. These bolts will be ready to go.

The only catch here is that to use the sorter you must place bolts, one by one, on the sorter. That could be quite tedious if there’s a lot of bolts. Some commenters wondered if an automated system could be built to pour in all bolts at once. However, that seems like a very complex mechanical problem to solve as the system would have to somehow re-orient the bolts without clogging up the flow.

For now, the M3 Bolt Sorter does exactly what was intended: it sorts M3 bolts, and does it well.

Via MakerWorld

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!