A three-dimensional printer screw is an alternative to threaded inserts


A three-dimensional printer screw is an alternative to […]

A three-dimensional printer screw is an alternative to threaded inserts. These screws deliver high accuracy, repeatability, and performance. These self-tapping plastic screws have no threads and are suitable for use with 3D-printed parts.

Among the many benefits of 3D printer screws, they are precision-engineered, thereby delivering accuracy, repeatability, and performance at an affordable price. Screws enable linear motion without using belt drives, making them an ideal choice for low-cost desktop 3D printers. They also require less assembly time compared to belt-driven 3D printers.

3D printers using belt-drive technology generally produce parts with lower quality, such as surface patterns and less resolution for certain part features. By contrast, 3D printers using lead screws deliver higher accuracy, repeatability, and performance than their equivalents using belt-drive technology.
Self-tapping plastic screws are an alternative to threaded inserts for 3D-printed parts

These screws have an external cutting edge that mimics the shape of a tap and produces a clean thread when inserted into a hole. They are installed using a drill press or tapping head and are very reliable for joining plastic parts. Alternatively, a soldering iron can be used to heat the insert and hammer it into the part.

While threaded inserts are a good choice for 3D-printed parts, they can also be costly. Threaded inserts require accurate holes. While it may seem more convenient to print undersized holes, they aren't always as accurate. Drilling after printing ensures the correct diameter hole, but adds a step to the process. In addition, there are many different types of threaded inserts on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

The performance of inserts is measured in torque resistance and pull-out force. Torque resistance is a measurement of how hard it is for the insert to pull out of a plastic part. Torque-out inserts are best for parts made from thermoplastics, but 3D-printed parts may not work well with this option.

Another alternative to threaded inserts is self-tapping plastic screws. These screws are easy to install and cost less than threaded inserts. Self-tapping plastic screws are cheaper and more accessible, and they work well for prototyping and low-resolution 3D parts.