Date of Award
3D printing has evolved from a slow, laborious process in the 1980s’s to a cutting- edge technology that is being used in industries such as aerospace and medical. Though the technology is relatively new in comparison to CNC machines and other items found in a typical machine shop, additive manufacturing is growing towards a multibillion-dollar industry. For this reason, many industries are turning to 3D printing for research and development tasking as well as just using it to supplement for parts until they have been manufactured through more traditional means. The downside of 3D printing is that it is commonly done with types of thermoplastics, and issue arises when there is a need for threaded parts. 3D printing is advanced enough to do this; however, if a part requires a fastener to thread and unthread numerous times, the plastic will wear and lead to the stripping of the threads. Heat set inserts provide a solution to this problem. Heat set inserts are a type of threaded insert that provides the ability to specifically implement threads into a 3D printed part. This is achieved by heating the insert with a soldering iron and placing it into a slightly undersized hole. The heat of the insert melts the plastic as it is pressed into the hole, and the cooling of the plastic secures and locks it into place. These inserts can be done by hand; however, it is difficult to keep the insert aligned with the hole, and misalignment of an insert can result in the scrapping of a part. Therefore, the scope of this report is to design, test, and fabricate a device that will allow heat set inserts to be installed to thermoplastics easily and accurately. This device should be similar to that of a drill press and will control horizontal motion and run out while providing adjustable vertical motion. A combination of 3D printed materials and standard components will be used to develop the prototype.
Warren, Maxwell, "Installation Press for Heat Set Inserts" (2021). Honors Theses. 1644.