Design of the Week: Parametric Hose Connector

By on June 24th, 2024 in Design, news

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Generating a 3D printable hose connector [Source: Fabbaloo]

This week’s selection is the Parametric Hose Connector generator by MakerWorld contributor ostat.

Hose connectors are something I occasionally need, and likely you do too. There’s household and workshop situations that demand connecting this to that, and you might not have the correct adapter.

In the past I’ve simply pulled out my micrometer and measured the two ends, launched Fusion 360 and designed the required connector. It’s pretty easy.

But then I discovered there was an even easier way: generate the adapter with a tool. ostat has published dozens of 3D models on Bambu Lab’s MakerWorld, and many of them are generators. They have devised generators for funnels, ducting, gridfinity, clamps and more. The parametric hose connector caught my eye because it is something I actually need. Our workshop constantly requires oddball hose connectors, usually for dust collection.

The tool is parametric, meaning you can type in specific dimensions and parameters, and the connector can then be generated to match.

While you may think a hose connector is straightforward, there are some twists and turns, all of which seem to be accounted for in ostat’s generator. It’s built with OpenSCAD, the programmatic 3D modeling tool. The generator simply takes numeric parameters you provide and inserts them into the OpenSCAD code for re-execution.

To use the generator, simply go to the MakerWorld page and hit the “Customize” button. This launches a new window with a “what you see is what you get” view of the current connector model. On the left are a series of parameters that can be adjusted. Once adjusted, just hit “Generate” to re-create the 3D model.

When the tweaks are considered complete, you can hit the “Download” button to obtain the corresponding 3D model. You can choose between 3MF or STL format.

The parameter interface deserves a bit of attention, as the wide range of this generator produces quite a few parameters.

The generator has four “zones” of the connector:

  • Connector 1 (the bottom in the view)
  • Transition (the area between connectors 1 and 2)
  • Connector 2 (the top in the view)
  • Connector 3 (optional, if there is a Y-connection)

Each of the connector zones has a series of sub-parameters that are defined by the “style” of the connector. There are a dozen different styles to choose from, including magnetic flange, Dyson, osVAC, Dewalt and the generic “hose connector”.

You can then set the dimensions for each of these zones to easily match your application.

Once you get the hang of the interface, it’s incredibly easy to generate mildly complex hose connectors that would take a little while to design on your own using a proper CAD tool.

This is a terrific generator for anyone using hoses.

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!