If you’ve done 3D printing, then you most likely have tried to connect some parts. Perhaps it’s an enclosure for an electronics project and mounting a circuit board to protect it. Maybe it’s a robotics or RC car project. Alternatively, you might be a professional architect or engineer modeling a prototype product. Using screws to tap straight into plastic might work once if the connection does not need to be too strong and doesn’t have to come apart. If you ever need to disassemble and reassemble multiple times, then you need to raise your game to include brass heat-set inserts. Brass inserts have small threads inside that hold #4-40 machine screws tightly. They have ridges and bumps on the outside to allow the melted plastic to wrap around, holding the insert tight into the plastic piece. Using a soldering iron with a special installation tip (search Amazon for B078K72615 ) makes it easy to install the inserts and extract the heated tip consistently without pulling the insert out of the plastic and ruining the part. Once the insert is installed you will have a much more robust and reusable way to connect 3D printed parts.
- Brass inserts help you to connect your 3D printed parts and enclosures.
- Press into 3D printed parts with heated tip (Virtjoule installation tips ASN: B078K72615 ). Tip with insert on it melts plastic and forms tight bond. You can then use a #4-40 machine screw giving a strong connection.
- Your 3D printed parts can be more easily assembled and disassembled multiple times. Placing a screw into regular plastic does not hold as well and will likely strip the plastic if done more than once, making it hard to reassemble with any connection strength.
- With a 0.135″ length, these inserts are short and are most useful for parts that have limited space to mount or connect 3D printed objects. The #4-40 size allows for a small, but useful size machine screw that can be found at most hardware stores.
- Useful for mounting circuit boards into 3D printed enclosures.