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Bistable Compliant Switch

by BYU_CMR Jul 24, 2018
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curious as to how small you can scale this down. I tried at 80%, but the "joints only had one wall, and some were actually not joined.

that's on a .4mm nozzle..

anyone had success with scaling down?

This is really cool.

Similar to others who have commented, mine lasted 3 clicks.
Went to show my wife:
"Hey check this out click on click off"
Her: "You Broke it!"
Me: "Nah it's a compliant mechanism click" Breaks "Well....now I broke it..."

Unfortunately PLA isn't a super good material for living hinges (that is what type of compliant mechanism hinge is used in this model). Here are some tips to make it last longer: When you slice the model, make sure the hinge section is as thin as possible (without being just short lines). A small nozzle helps. Maybe also try other materials. We have had these switches last over a million cycles when they are manufactured (CNC) out of polypropylene.

Successfully printed in PLA. Has survived a couple dozen cycles and hasn't broken yet, though I am seeing stress lines along the hinges.

Cura refused to load the .stl file, so I imported the .dxf into onshape, scaled 160%, extruded to 12mm, and printed set at .4mm

Does not work in PLA like mentionned. Mine lasted 1 click! I even tried different printing rotation.

I just saw Professor Larry Howell on Veritasium talking about compliant mechanisms. I immediately thought of 3D printing them. Looked up on thingiverse and here you are, actually publishing the designs for free.
Prof. Howell mentioned that PLA isn't ideal. What material would you recomend for printing this?

i just noticed they are milling it from PP or recommend print with TPU...

It felt great while it worked, but I only got about 15 clicks out of it before it snapped. :(
Printed in Inland PLA White.
Scaled uniformly until the z height was 12mm
.6mm nozzle printed with .4mm settings (which typically works just as well as using a .4mm nozzle)

This, just like the pliers printed great in PETG, a little stringing but that is to be expected

Been playing around with this. This tends to break at the middle joint, when printed with PLA and flexed too much.

I wonder if this could have been made more durable, via leaving in a ball socket joint at that point instead.

Material properties of the plastic are important with this sort of design. The design was intended to be made from polypropylene, which has almost magical fatigue resistance compared with other plastics. You've probably seen plastic tool boxes with a flexible hinge, the ones that don't fall apart are molded from polypropylene. A bit of searching turned up pp filament, I am interested in trying it out for various other applications, but I bet it would have superior performance for this as well.

See a modern cutting edge object on Youtube. 45min later, printed. I love being alive right now.

Crazy times indeed. Saw the video, started printing, done in 1 hour.

Cool! how did it turn out?