3D Printed Quick Build Clamping Blocks

Recently I’ve been working on some ways to quickly assemble and adjust structures for FRC robots using 1" x 1" or 2" x 1" tubing. Inspired by 3847’s Protopipe and 5254’s HYPEBlocks but still feeling something else was needed, I’ve created a set of 3D printable clamping blocks with common gusset hole patterns incorporated -

The first versions of these were used to assemble an intake used in the Vectored Intake Wheels 2.0 video. While working with them I found them incredibly easy to adjust and dial in the spacing to make the intake function properly - “like LEGOs for FRC” as someone put it. Sometimes in FRC the difference between not working, working and working well are fractions of an inch.

Features include:

  • Designed for #10 bolts - tested with 10-32 bolts and when clamped sufficiently, they could not be moved by hand.
  • Allows use of 1.5" or longer thru bolts + locknuts.
  • Can also substitute 7/8" or longer screws with brass screw to expand inserts
  • Use of spacers allows you to use the same blocks between 1" x 1" or 2" x 1" material
  • Small counterbore hole allows for use of 5/32 temporary cleco fasteners for securing sheet gussets on the outside to use for transfer drilling holes in place.
  • Gussets can also just be clamped between the 3D printed part & tubing to be used for transfer drilling holes.

These could be extremely useful for teams in the first few weeks of build season for prototyping, but could also be helpful for teams that aren’t strong in CAD and just want to figure out something that works on the fly quickly. Once your positioning is set, transfer drill your holes and replace with sheet metal gussets. Boom, done.

STL and STEP files can be found here

Feel free to modify or use as needed and good luck in your 2022 season!

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This is an incredible resource!
Thank you so much for doing all this.

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In all seriousness those are awesome and I cant wait to print some out. The growth of the FRC prototyping ecosystem has been amazing over the past few years.

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These are pretty sweet.

What material(s) have you found work well for printing these?

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I’ve just been using Duramic’s PLA+. Cheap and strong enough.

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Ryan, what a great resource for teams. Love the insert work which is another great experience for teams to acquire. Simple, useful for prototyping and jigging for gussets. Wow. A+!!

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I can already tell this is going to be a great option for teams looking to make up these types of frames quickly, and definitely something I am going to suggest for our own team. Perhaps as a nice CAD model practice for new students as well! :smile:

… I can also tell that I am probably going to just print up one or two of these for my own display of cool looking 3D printed things :laughing:

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We printed a few of these in preparation for the season and were having issues getting the heat sets to sit right so I made an Onshape document that allows you to change the bore and depth of the counter bore. I used the variable library feature script to help make it so all parts can be controlled by the same set of variables, when you open the doc and look at the feature tree on the left you should see a feature called “edit for variables” if you edit that it should allow you to change the variables and it will change it for all the parts. You may need to add the feature script to use it.
The cad for this is super easy to break if you try but it will work for small adjustments to account for differences with printer/ materials or what ever other factors might effect the print.

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That’s awesome. If someone wants to get these into MKCAD and make all the fun features editable, that’s honestly probably the next step to make them truly useful. Being able to dial in hole sizes and such so people can easily tune the model to work with their printer would be A+. Great idea

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Do you mind if I mirror these on PrusaPrinters with credit to you, Ryan Dognaux?

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Go for it, I just want to more teams to use them :+1:

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Tried to make this work for me but it says “this document was shared via link and is readonly.” Could not find a way to copy the document into my account so it’s editable. I may see about replicating the idea in FreeCad so it’s free forever.

want me to try?

I have a few sets coming off the printer for Christmas morning!

Sorry, that’s my bad I forgot to make it public so people could actually copy it, this link should work.

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Because I already had these 10-32 threaded inserts I bought from Grainger a while back, I’m going to attempt to make this work with them instead of the linked McMaster Carr inserts.

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The manufacturer recommended hole geometry seems to work fine, at least on the Prusa.

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