Embedding a Bearing in a 3D Printed Part

  • Linux

    This was a new one for me; I printed a part for the 3D printer and embedded a bearing into the part half way through the print.

    I have not tested the part yet but it looks promising. I am replacing the geared extruder on the printer with a direct-drive one because I have been having problems with it; the extruder jams and the 3D printed gears are starting to wear out.

    Here is the idler arm being printed before the bearing went into it:
    2015-02-10 11.54.47.jpg

    I setup the print job to pause when it made sense to add the bearing. I used the program Repetier-Host to setup the print to pause; the program allows you to edit the g-code destined for the printer so that you can do things like pause the print. The software was not very user-friendly but seems to have a lot of interesting features … I hope to play with it some more.

    And here is the print job completing after the bearing was added:
    2015-02-10 13.51.14.jpg

    And the finished direct-drive extruder components mounted on the extruder servo motor:
    2015-02-10 18.04.20.jpg

    The new extruder mount is printing now. If I manage to get it all changed over I’ll take before and after shots.

  • Linux

    Can anybody help me out … I uploaded pictures in the previous post but they are not displaying?

  • @Chris the most common issue with uploading pictures is that they are too big to be uploaded to the free service that we are using. Can you resize the images to something around 1000px width and try again?
    My favorite way to resize a bunch of images is using the convert command line tool like this:

    convert '*.jpg[1000x]' resized%03d.jpg

    Then you can drag and drop the resized pictures into your original post and this time hopefully that will work. Let me know how it goes, if you still have the issue then we should report it.

  • Linux

    Thanks @arasbm … that worked. I know people had problems before but I could not find the posts to see what the issue was.

  • Linux

    So, when all is said and done the extruder on my 3D printer has gone from looking like this:
    2015-02-11 15.48.17.jpg

    To, this:
    2015-02-13 10.19.26.jpg

    The good news:

    • the gears are gone,
    • smaller, lighter assembly,
    • seems to work consistently

    The bad news:

    • I will not be able to print with 3mm spools anymore,
    • at higher speeds the nozzle does not seem to keep up … I am assuming there is not enough torque in the direct drive system

    I’ve got my first part printing and it looks good so far!
    Looking at those pictures I need to do something with all those wires.

  • That’s pretty cool, I have never seen something like that done before (adding bearing to 3d print) how was the fit after printing? Any runout on the bearing?


  • Linux

    It is actually a remarkably tight fit, there was no noticeable play in the bearing when I tested it by hand and it is successfully feeding the printer filament. Honestly, I did not test it significantly prior to installing it … I will be curious to see how it holds up longer term.

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