!!! Our mechanical engineering consultant surprised us this morning with a new set of 3D printed jaws to test out!
You may have seen our original set of ball pinchers:
well.. there were a few problems.
- low density (50% fill)
- print time (2+ hours)
- excessive material
- sensitive to print tolerance
Most of these solutions were solved by "cutting-the-fat." Any plastic that wasn't structurally relevant was removed from the design.
Which gave us these Mickey Mouse looking parts.. (non-affiliated, please don't sue us Disney)
The ball-holder surface also underwent optimization. Rather than relying on a spherical divot to grip the ball, which is subject to fail if tolerances are off... the divot was made into more of a conic indentation. We were also able to make it to a 100% fill density.
As an added bonus, the conic divot allowed for the secure grasping of varying ball diameters. Like this 2" steel bearing: