Printed Jig Is A Welding Rig

[NixieGuy] was scheming to build robots with cable-driven joints when the pandemic hit. Now that component sourcing is scarce, he’s had to get creative when it comes to continuous cables. These cables need to be as seamless as possible to avoid getting caught on the pulleys, so [Nixie] came up with a way to weld together something he already has on hand — lengths of .45mm steel cable.

The 3D printed jig is designed to be used under a digital microscope, and even clamps to the pillar with screws. Another set of screws holds the two wires in place while they are butt welded between two pieces of copper.

[Nixie] adds a spot of solder paste for good measure, and then joins the wires by attaching his bench power supply set to 20V @ 3.5A to the copper electrodes. We love that [Nixie] took the time to streamline the jig design, because it looks great.

This just goes to show you that great things can happen with limited resources and a little bit of imagination. [Nixie] not only solved his own supply chain problem, he perfected a skill at the same time. If you don’t have a bench supply, you might be able to get away with a battery-powered spot welder, depending on your application.

17 thoughts on “Printed Jig Is A Welding Rig

  1. I guess the current flowed down through the copper tab, through the two SS wires to the copper anvil below. I bet setting to 5 volts would work as well. I’m sure the power supply was in current limit. Very cool.

  2. I would think that mechanically solder would be a poor choice for this. Yes it has a small degree of malleability. Depending on the softer percentages in the solder. But it also work hardens and then fractures at that point. Often leading to a harder solder. Which depending on the location in the system. If coming in contact with a pulley or guide. Could result in excessive wear and alignment issues.

    It certainly makes me think that maybe a crimp/swedged connector with the cable then being coated. Might be a better solution. Depending on the situation.

        1. Yes, I was juggling whether to use milinewtons and ml or milinewtons and liters or just newtons. The factor of 10 (9.8) for g was one too many objects for my little bain :-)

    1. Yah, said welding, welding, welding, then solder paste, where I thought they meant flux, nobody can tell those two apart either, which may also be useful for welding, but looking yet again, 3.5A at 20V is not gonna do it I don’t think, need to see triple or quadruple the watts to do thinner wire.

      1. Okay changed my mind again after reading the link, might be welding, and confirm of 0.45mm diameter quoted, meaning it’s about like thin beading wire, not as I was thinking your smallest hardware wire which is 3x that diameter and 9x the area. Which I needed 14A at 12V to get to stick when I was messing with it a while back. (very slaggy weld though, easily cracked, was looking into fluxes, went down rabbit hole, then oooh, shiny…)

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