ScrewMaker (FreeCAD): 3d printing screws is simple

Today we talk about Screw Maker, a FreeCAD add-on (macro).

ScrewMaker allows you to automatically create screws, just working on some settings:

  • Type of screw
  • Nominal diameter
  • Nominal length
  • Thread type

 DOWNLOAD ED INSTALLATION

Here you can download the latest version of ScrewMaker

It does not require a real “installation”: you just have to paste it in Mod directory of FreeCAD (on my laptop the path is  C://Programs/FreeCAD13/Mod)

USE

After that, you can run FreeCAD. Then, from whatever workbench (i.e. Part Design) go on Marco-macro and select the folder in which you have pasted the file. Now you should see screw_maker1_7.py in the window; select it and click on “run”. If everything is ok, you should see this window:

Screw_maker interface

As you can see, there is a database with a lot of types of screws. Leaving everything as by default, you will obtain a ISO4017 screw with exagonal head, a 5mm diameter and 20mm lenght.

If you need a real screw you have to select “real Thread”; the process can be very long (I mean: even 10 minutes, depends on your hardware), so be patient.

From this point the article refers just to version 0.13 of FreeCAD. If you use the latest release (0.14), ScrewMaker creates a -ready to- use screw (at least in my case). Anyway, it can be useful read how to solve some problems that may occur. 

EXPORT .STL AND REPAIR IT WITH NETFABB® BASIC

Once the screw has been created, you see that there is a problem; the mesh is not closed, so not 3D-printable.

Test screw

This problem can be easily fixed with NetFabb Basic, a free software that helps you to repair some errors. And optimize a mesh for 3D printing.

So, in FreeCAD select the screw (clickin on the left panel) ad export it in .stl format (File-export)

Now run NetFabb and import the .stl file. NetFabb will show the danger mark.

NetFabb

So, click on the red cross in the toolbar, and then on “Automatic repair”; in the next window click on “Execute”, and finally “Apply repair”. In the next window, click on “Remove old parts”.

Now the mesh should be completely green, and the danger symbol should be desappeared. So let’s right-click on the screw and select “Eport Part” and then “As .stl”, and save it somewhere.

Repaired

Now, all we have to do is import this repaired file in Cura and convert it in G-Code.

And that’s how the 3D printed screw looks like (we used our Galileo Smart).

vite stampata in 3d vite stampata in 3d_2

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