Robotics Hobbyist

Printing Threads

I’d like to open some thoughts with thread inserts or standoffs as an option for threads being generated on a 3D printer. Not knowing the complete application it’s hard to speculate. Nothing like pressing an insert into a blank hole to achieve a thread of any desire? :nerd_face:

Hi Romulus,

do you mean using premade (metal) inserts to be used with the 3D-printed parts or using some kind of a design-library to use with your own designs and print it as a whole?

Cheers Chris

Hello Chris,

I was thinking pre-made metal / or plastic purchased inserts … I did a quick survey on the internet for threaded standoffs and threaded inserts and as expected I did see a wide variety and selection. Making your own can certainly be an option. I’m receiving things today almost same day when ordered. I wouldn’t even begin to make some items today because they’re cheaper to purchase than I could make them.

I like the Kiss approach to designing. keep It Simple Stupid. I’m not big on stupid because well nothing is stupid for the most part in my opinion. The more I learn, the more I realize how very little I know…


From an economic point of view this is probably the most effective way of producing a given workpiece, but in my case not my preferred :slight_smile:

I want to print an adapter in one piece with bespoke measurements to exactly get my astrophotography equipment in the right focal distance. The creation of the threads is part of it.
Besides I wouldn’t mind if there was a threads library available or McMaster-Carr had the definitions of the sought thread online - I never wanted to delve that much into threads, but unfortunately neither Shapr3D nor Fusion360 had the .75 threads ready to use.

Good night from Germany


I Totally understand your viewpoint. Threads have been an issue as long as I’ve been in the business of machined parts and that’s a long time. One of my biggest headaches have been threads. Try having thousands of parts returned because a no go gage goes into the threads or an inspector feels the threads are out of spec. things that contributed to my heavy consumption of tequila!!! Just kidding but not.

Forget economics, I’m not convinced a plastic printed thread will hold up to the scrutiny / accuracy that’s required in most applications. Time will tell.

At a glance on YouTube watching a few folks discuss the subject, most are having to forget about specs to achieve a fit function. By that I mean I’m seeing some pretty sloppy threads / lose fitting threads which would never pass inspection.

If you require precise threads, you need machined threads. 3D printers will not give you the precision you’re looking for in my opinion. Especially repeatability.

The good news is you will achieve your goal…

Thanks for the uplifting words :slight_smile:

Since I‘m quite new to 3D-modeling, my problem is, that I can‘t estimate what grades of deviation are acceptable to still comply to a standard.

Unfortunately one of my first projects led me to the realm of precision threads :grimacing:

My motivation besides just being able to do it is to save some money in the long end (emphasis is on some).
Dennis told in another thread that his personal flaw is that he’s taking thinks literally too often and mine possibly is that I get lost in asking further and further and begin to overthink things…

The goal of this threaded project is to model an adapter with a M48x.75 inner-thread on one side and with a variable (in the design process) barrel in between a M42x.75 outer-thread on the other side - seemed straight forward to me and after watching some videos on Fusion360 I sat down with Shapr3D and began to construct it (F360 didn’t have those thread-specifications onboard either). And here we are… :slight_smile:

If this adapter is printable - great! If not, well then I‘ll have to go to a local metal-workshop with CNC-routing facility to have it made but in this case I‘d like to present them a precise model.

Generally speaking it is possible to print a fine-thread. I managed to print a M42x.75 thread which can be screwed in an professional aluminum counterpart quite effortlessly, so I‘m pretty sure that I‘ll manage to print the full adapter quite soon - if this stands to the test of time we‘ll see.

I‘m aware of the fact that printing imprecisions and thermal variations are in the end far more important than the question if the pitch is .75 or 0.7501 - especially when printing, but please indulge me, this is where I want to understand the underlying mechanisms.

In the end I‘m still a physician in every day life and as an specialist for internal and family medicicine I‘m one of the top-heavy species :smile:

I hope that you now can understand better why I‘m that much after those precision threads…

Cheers Chris

To start with, I’ve never used a software program for creating threads. Mine have always been a visual reference or a detailed description and then it goes out to be manufactured.

Here’s an analogy I’d like to propose. If I go out to pickup lumber I might use a truck? Or I might strap the lumber down to the roof of my compact car?

Could there be a delay with Shapr3D on this subject of threads because the demand isn’t that great as yet and there are other options for the most part for the time being which is fusion or others?

I like the idea Dennis is proposing for helping you out.

I’m giving a machining perspective and the two of you are 3D printing perspectives.

This is really some cool stuff that is changing the dynamics of how the game is played?

Certainly has my lightbulb turned up or I wouldn’t have started this day at 3:00am :crazy_face:

Hi Chris,

I would love to give it a try and model both of the threads. I am always looking for a challenge. And I believe that we can model this to work, It has to be able to be done. It is just figuring out the tolerances as you suggested.

Do you have a drawing of the specs of the part you would like to make? I seen an image over at Shapr3D’s forums. So I have an idea of the end result. I really would like to try and figure out a method. Whether Fusion 360 or Shapr3D, my attempt will be Shapr3D as I am certain I have the math down now.

So I gather the M42 x .75, what is the length of this particular thread?

And I gather that the other is M48 x .75, what is the length of this thread?

Is there a specific distand between the 2 threads (the body)? What is the total height of the part you are trying to make.

It’s not that I wish to do it and you not do it, I am curious if I can figure it out and share how I did it.

This is what makes what you’re setting up here so awesome. It’s a joint effort and concern to advance someone’s ideas? Well, that’s how I see it. Now to gain the trust somehow so the individual is assured they’re not going to have their creation stolen.

I invite you to google search the Boneau Stent…

In my case I’ll quote George Washington Carver on my views of inventing: God gave them to me, how can I sell them to someone else … I should point out, I’m of no religion, I’m a mixture of this and that and mostly Buddhist…

Anyhooo with your tenacity and determination, forget the sky, the universe is the limit!!!:crazy_face:

I’m very confident this is going to be resolved quite expeditiously…:sunglasses:

I am with you on this. I too have typically used threads for visual purposes only. But, with some of the projects that I have in mind, this is going to be an issue as I am going to need a custom part either 3D Printed or Machined. This leads me to the same place Chris is at, he needs a custom part.

For me it’s not about the money at this time although the money is a factor and always will be. It obviously has to be cost effective to make sense in doing.

In this case, I believe with a collective effort that we can solve this, at least to the point it is acceptable if not perfect.

I can’t speak to a large demographic on modeling as a whole, but for the 2 years I have been at this, especially with Shapr3D, there has been many requests in the forums for a threads/fasteners feature or library. I personally an not interested in the library as McMaster-Carr has that covered, at least for my needs. But the ability to model custom parts and insert ISO Standard threads is important.

Will Fusion 360 resolve this current dilemma with threads?

I couldn’t agree more about people gaining each others trust. But, I also am in believe that most ideas are already out there with more than one person, the question is who gets to market first.

My thoughts on that are quite simple: If you don’t want an idea potentially stolen, sharing it on a public medium such as a forum (any forum) is not the place to ask for help or share the idea. But there are many ways to ask for help with something without giving away your idea.

My end goal with these forums was to create a place where beginners and hobbyists can share their work, ideas or just ask for help. Also note, that EVERYONE is welcome regardless of skill level. But it was also to build a community of like minded individuals where we all can come without the worry of politics, nationality, race, color, religion and so on. Everyone is welcome regardless of any of that. This is a place to share knowledge and make some friends with similar interests.

Yes, When I think I’m ahead of the curve on a thought, I do a quick glance at google and laugh because someone’s beat me to the punch and in a lot of cases better than what I would have done which really gets under my skin to turn things up!!! :joy:

Yes, timing is everything when it comes to markets … I like desperation creates motivation?

For sure a forum is not a place for discretions … A computer with access to the internet is not a place for a discrete environment. As you know, a lot of folks keep things mostly reserved in their heads. Mr. Edward Leedskalnin (coral castle) quickly comes to mind … To this day I enormously enjoy that man!!!

Like I’ve written, I’m on board with your program…

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime… :nerd_face:

I haven’t personally checked it, but Chris mentioned that it didn’t have threads of .75 mm pitch.

A quick Google search shows there is likely a way, I haven’t fully read this or tried it. But it seems you can create a custom thread by editing an XML file. This would mean only the creator would be able to open it or anyone else that has this custom file.

Why not develop your own threads and make whatever suits you. I get the impression you like using the metric system. I’ve converted so much in the past using .03937 multiplying or 25.4 dividing I think it’s permanently ingrained. Oh the old days…

Anyhooo it’s hard to determine the needs without knowing some of the use as in is this a one off or a prototype for future production? If it’s a one off for personal use, there’s a big difference in designing in my humble opinion.

If this is something that’s going to go into production, no offense but a 3D printing machine is not going compete well against a screw machine or a CNC lathe when it comes to standoffs or round parts so to speak.

Which brings me back to how you want to design this part if it’s ultimately going to be machined? :crazy_face:

I think Chris stated this is for personal use. I am not sure if there is plans to have it manufactured for anyone other than himself.

But based on the Google search it seems copying a file and editing the XML file can edit the pitch and create the needed thread. This would then solve the issue for Chris. Obviously it would be in Fusion 360 and not Shapr3D.

I agree about 3D printing not necessarily being as good as machining. However, SLA 3D Printers are amazing and would give him a truly amazing result over the printers we are using at home today. And they are now in a similar price range of the higher end ABS/PLA printers.

Check out this printer from FormLabs. You can send away for example prints. I did and was blown away by the results to the level I almost ordered one. But I didn’t because I want a larger print volume.

That’s what I thought with Chris with personal use… I personally don’t see anything wrong by using Fusion 360 in this case. I by no means will give up my Solidworks but will be using Shapr3D extensively.

What’s funny about personal use with a tool design is someone sees you use it and they want one. Check out Gene Haas and his indexing head story.

I’m going to check out the referenced printer right now … I’ve been procrastinating a laser cutting machine for some time now, mostly due to I can purchase my requirements way cheaper than I can make them myself. I may move a 3D printer in front of that :joy:


I personally don’t see anything wrong by using Fusion 360 in this case.

I am a firm believer in using the best tool for the job. In this case it may be Fusion 360. And personally I recommend getting familiar with as many tools as we can.

Right on!!! Thank You on that lead!!!

Yes, yes, yes to becoming familiar with multiple tools / options!!! Even a pad and pencil…