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Engineering Fundamentals Refresh: Strength vs. Stiffness vs. Hardness

Understanding the differences amongst the mechanical properties of strength vs. stiffness vs. hardness is foundational in mechanical engineering, yet these properties can often be confused. These properties are related, but there are very important differences between them:  Stiffness is an indicator of the tendency for an element to return to its original form after being […]

Article

Too Tight or Perfect Fit? When to Use Press Fits in Your Assemblies

Adapting to many situations, holding parts in perfect alignment, easily introduced but forming a lasting bond—I could either be describing press fits or your favorite pair of jeans. Press fits have so many great features, you might wonder why they don’t replace all other connections. The truth is, press fits aren’t for every application—just like […]

Article

How to Design Snap Fit Components

Designing components with snap-fits can save you time and money in production by reducing material costs and part quantities, as well as making assembly easier. In the past, injection molding was the only viable method for producing snap-fit joints in plastics. However, today 3D printing has opened up both new opportunities and challenges in their […]

Article

Slip Fit Tolerances and Geometry

Have you recently assembled Ikea furniture? If so, I apologize. I send my condolences for the frustration you experienced when the holes did not line up with the pins you put in other holes or when you realized you were missing a fastener. The good news is that you did gain something from the experience […]

Article

Nothing Gets In: Waterproof Enclosure Design 101 (and IP68)

Design guidelines for waterproof enclosure design, as well as IP68 waterproof rating design.

Article

How to Choose the Best Fasteners for 3D Printed Parts

We get a lot of questions about the best methods for fastening different 3D printed components. When prototyping hardware products — like electronics enclosures or robotic assemblies — you often need to design mating structures that are more complex than a single 3D printed component. Other times, you may need to print components larger than […]

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