3D Printing in the Shop

There was a forum for how folks incorporate their 3D printers into their shop on "another" forum that I really enjoyed.  So I thought I'd start one here.  I included all 3 sections of the site because I can easily see uses for 3D printed parts in all 3 areas.

So I'll kick it off with a couple of prints I just did.  First is a holder for the the blade on my Millers Falls "cigar" Spokeshave.  The small, round blade is just too petite for me to be able to do it freehand.  So I let my printer do the grunt work for me😎

I inserted some square nuts for the screws to go into but otherwise it's all PLA.  I used several walls and 99% infill to minimize flex and it seems to be plenty strong and square.  We'll see how it holds up over time.

Edit May'24 Adding links to sites for models to print.
  • Printables Prusa's free model repository.
  • Yeggi A search engine that links to models from various other sites.  Some paid some free.
  • GrabCad Not a printing-specific site but a large selection of 3D models.
  • Thingiverse All free printable models.
  • Cults Lots of printable models, some paid some free.
  • Thangs Printer specific site with paid and free models.

1128 Replies

Now to address the metalworking section of the site.

I was a machinist early in my career and one thing I used quite a lot was a bench block.  However, I never actually owned one because they were readily available for use in the shop I worked in.  So now that I do my machining at home, I keep thinking I'm going to machine myself a couple but it's one of those things I never seem to get around to doing.  So the other day, I thought "let's see how this works."

It's obviously too light-duty for any serious work and using it as a drill guide will wear it out in short order.  But I think it'll find some uses on my bench.  And I didn't even have to model it since I found one on thingiverse 😉
Kenny someone might correct me but I believe more walls is better when it comes to strenght. Something like the blade holder I probably wouldve put enough walls so the only infill was in the rounded section which would be at 100%
Yeah Keebler.  I used as many walls as would fit then 99% infill for the rest.  Walls are stronger.
Great ideas Kenny.  You should put your sharpening jig out on Thingiverse.  

I've found that it doesn't require very high infill percentages to be strong.  I tested one of those plane handles I printed for you a while back by smacking them with a hammer and they didn't even dent, Of course it was mostly a solid shape. It may be better or at least as important to pick an infill pattern that doesn't give you voids because of thin round or angled sections.  

Maybe I do not understand how a bench block is used.  Is there a reason it would be hollow underneath?  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Mostly it just makes it lighter and it’s easier to get it to sit flat on a less than perfect surface.

Yeah I have a few models I plan to put up on Thingiverse once I’ve validated the designs.  The honing jig will be one of them.
I have a knife vise I made using the balljoint from a HF swivel vise as the base.  Tbe only issue I ever have is the balljoint slipping when I’m applying much pressure to the knife.  So I’ll grab a rubber gripper and torque it down.  Problem then becomes getting it loose.

Both problems are gone.
Nice bench block, Ken. I have one out of a big spur gear that was cut wrong in the mill..........Cheers, Jim

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

Thanks Jim.  The bench block was just an exercise in curiosity.  I really need to find my round tuit and make myself an honest one.
Not nearly as cool as what you guys posted, but this insert for the cheaply T-handle metric allen rack means no more twisting the tool trying to get it to fit the bottom hole…

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Oh hell that’s brilliant Ryan!  I have a SAE and and a metric set that would benefit greatly from that.  It’s a PITA to get them in that bottom hole.
This should be the link to it here Kenny. 
Not my design, but it works great!!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Is this the same set Ryan?
Here’s a R8 collet holder I made for my mill.
Is this the same set Ryan?
It looks like it. If you send me the dimensions between the plates (the one the printed piece would fill) I can compare it to mine…

Love that collet rack! I don’t have a big enough mill to hang it off 🤣
I’m assuming that’s a Bridgeport (or some other knee mill) you’ve got?

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Thanks Ryan but it’s just as easy for me to check the dimensions of the model you linked.  Even making my own would be quick work.

My mill is a Rockwell 21-120 horizontal/vertical combo.  It’s my baby 😉

(That’s not mine, just an example from google)
Yeah, this is as close as I can get. Maybe someday when I have more room. But this little one does pretty ok, as long as you stay within its tolerances. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Yeah mine’s a lightweight compared to a J-head Bridgeport but it’s heavy and solid enough for anything I’d throw at it.  The only real limitation I’ve hit with it is the Y travel only being 6”.  Even that’s not usually a hinderance but it has to be planned for.
PS, get that thing bolted down to a heavy, solid, level base and you’ll be surprised how much it will improve.
It’s bolted to the cabinet, and there’s probably 500lbs of tooling and hardware in it. It’s pretty damn solid actually. As long as I’m careful with the cuts, it works just fine. The head flexes a little if I push it, which is an issue with any of the mini mills. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Been needing something to hold the change gears for my lathe since I bought it 4 years ago.  So I made one finally.  3DP overcomes procrastination again!