Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Snap" assembling a Nut

I never seem to have the right fasteners on hand for my projects, so I like to design things that can be assembled without screws. This nut-themed shell is designed so two identical halves can snap together, leaving ample room for the mechanism inside.

For testing, I assembled two halves without installing the mechanism. The part was built with a combination of opaque white material and transparent material, which makes it striped.

The round bumps will fall into matching holes when the part is squeezed together. This is a very rigid part with thick walls, but the SD300's PVC material has just enough 'give' to allow these halves to be snapped together securely.

Thanks to the layers of transparent material, the assembled shell includes windows through which the mechanism will be visible in the final puzzle.


  1. Very simple and elegant! How hard do you think it would be to add screw threads so the pieces could be screwed together like a lid on a jar? Probably not so easy, I would think ...

  2. A fringe benefit of using the symmetric design is that I only had to design half of the mechanism since the two halves are duplicates. I would probably want to retain that trait if I was building a threaded version, which poses a challenge in itself. But my latest batch of marble puzzles suggest it's feasible.

    The machine is certainly capable of building threaded items, since Fabbaloo exhibited a nut-and-bolt sample at