Saturday, January 10, 2009


Press fit hubs for Acrylic Components

Not entirely related to what we are doing, but a useful technique that I am sure will find use somewhere.

Just recently there was a need to make some custom laser cut snail cams for an automata project. I wanted to use the press fit brass hubs available from Commotion but there is a problem press fitting parts into acrylic, in that it invariably cracks or shatters.

A solution is to take the grub screws out of the hubs and then heat the hubs in a domestic oven to about 220 or 230 degrees C.

The hubs can then be press fitted into the acrylic parts initially by hand then finished using a vice to make good the alignment.

The technique worked so well that I went on to laser cut some drive sprockets for wire chain and fit hubs to them the same way.

The picture above shows the hubs fitted, the snail cams are two layers of 3mm Laser Cut Acrylic laminated together with Dichloromethane.

There is a picture of the Automata I was building on my Blog.

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