Markforged Part Design-01

Old and New Versions of 3D Printed Pipe Drilling Guide

I am using SolidWorks CAD Software to draw New Parts, as well as re-drawing many of my Old Parts, so that these new designs can be 3D-Printed with an amazing new type of 3D-printer which creates stronger 3D-Printed items …

On the Side are Recent Posts I have made detailing 3D-Printed Projects >>

3D-Printed Ring to Create a Pipe Hole Drilling Guide

The advantage of creating your own 3D-Printed Tools & Parts is you are NOT subjected to the limitations of Off-the-Shelf parts

Want a special tool for your Workshop? – 3D Print it!  

Need a Custom Fixture for Assembling items? – 3D Print it!

Sometimes the simplest items are the most helpful …

3D-Printed Open/Close Knob for Hydraulic Bottle Jack


We design items based off of the equipment available to produce those items.

In the past humans used wood, then brass, bronze, iron, steel, aluminum …

Different material’s abilities provided new design options; yet, each new material required new fabrication methods & equipment to create parts.

Wood & Metal Vintage Machinery on a Friend’s Family Farm

Metals are strong; however, machining is expensive due to the many different fabrication processes & experience needed to create parts for equipment.

Vintage Metalworking Lathe

Carbon-Fiber parts are lightweight & strong, but required custom made molds & chemicals of which the fumes limit fabrication locations.

Carbon-Fiber Vacuum Forming

In addition, plastic injection molded parts can be made inexpensive only by making hundreds, or thousands, of the same exact part; yet, if a change has to be made it costs thousands of dollars (and may take weeks) to re-machine a new injection mold out of metal.

Plastic Injection Mold Machined out of Metal

The brilliance of 3D-Printing (Additives Manufacturing) is that just about anything one can draw into CAD software can be 3D-Printed into that shape.

Borax and Honey Ant Bait Box Created with 3D Printer

Injection Molded parts require draft angles to get parts out of the mold; however, 3D-Printed parts can be whatever shape you need to create the best part possible for your project.

In other words – You Design your parts for their use, not by what methods you have available to fabricate the parts … Draw the specific part shape you need and then press the 3D-Printer’s  START button.

3D-Printed Parts Can be Carbon-Fiber Reinforced ( Strong & Lightweight )

Need to Change/Update a 3D-Printed Part’s Design?
No worries, just change the design anytime you wish and send the new file to the 3D-Printer.  Within seconds you are making a new updated part.
( No financial punishment for creative design updates )

3D-Printed Design to Hold a Cooling Sensor & Frozen Gel Packs

3D-Printed Hard-Hat Cooling Mount

Finished 3D Printed Part Created for a Las Vegas Collaboration Project


Markforged Stronger 3DP Materials provide more design options…

Markforged launched the first and only 3D desktop and industrial line of printers that smartly embed continuous fiber to created a printed composite part and they introduced a breakthrough method of printing same-day real metal.

Markforged 3D printed parts are much stronger, stiffer and more impact resistant than parts from any other 3D printer.

Composite 3D-Printer Created by Markforged

ONYX and NYLON parts starts with a base plastic filament extruded from the Markforged 3D-Printers first print head.
Parts made of plastics alone have excellent engineered properties such as toughness, stiffness, stability and strength over other plastic printers.

FIBER MATERIALS – Reinforce with continuous fiber for amazing properties through our second print head.
You have a choice of four fiber materials for tremendous boosts in strength, toughness and other properties for the most advanced uses any 3D printer can provide.

Markforged has Many Types of 3D-Printing Materials


I have already posted many examples using metal fasteners (Bolts, Nuts, Screws) in combination with 3D-Printed parts, and have reached the limits of my current 3D-Printer …

3D Printed ARLO Camera Mount

Also, created 3D-Printed shapes to be used patterns for metal casting …

3D Printed Metal Casting Patterns

Unfortunately, I have reached the size & strength limits of my current 3D-Printer and wish to be able to design for stronger 3D printed materials …

ARLO 3D Printed Camera Mount Parts Printed on the AFINIA 3D Printer


The goal of my – Designed for Markforged – posts are to create items specifically designed to take advantage of stronger Markforged 3DP materials and the larger 3D-printing platform dimensions.

( Click on images to see a Larger View )

Pipe Hole Drilling Guide SolidWorks CAD Rendering

The equipment and parts one buys online, or in a store, have been designed for general use so as many people as possible can use those items.

Many individuals and businesses cannot use off-the-shelf parts and have to design and fabricate custom made items…

Hydraulic Drilling Reaction Arm

Remote Access Drilling & Foundation Stabilization Equipment

Several years ago I starting working with Bill create ‘remote access’ drilling equipment for Helical Piers & Micro-Piles for foundation stabilization …

Pipes Slide Through Cutoff Guides to Mark Cut Line Location

Every location has different needs so we end up designing & fabricating custom items for different situations …  Some items are for physical work and others are used as guides and/or measuring & alignment.

Not all Locations have this much room around the Pipe

Sometimes holes have to be accurately drilled into pipes in remote locations and/or pipes have to be cut off shorter and the hole re-drilled to match the hydraulic drilling unit’s mounting holes.

Large Diameter Step Drill Bits for Thick Metal

Inside my workshop, it is very easy to cut off the pipe and then re-drill the mounting holes in the correct location, but on the job-site it becomes much harder for workers to do it quickly & accurate with a hand-held drill.

Guide for Drilling 1/4″ Pilot Holes for a final 7/8′ Hole-Saw Cut

There are different types of drilling equipment and each one has a different purpose and method of use … Many times we have to create special tools due to the tight working conditions in remote access areas.

As an example, sometimes there isn’t enough room to use a long spike to line up holes, so I made a short hand-held spike on the suggestion of a worker.

Hole Alignment Spike

View Showing How the Shorter Hole Guide-Spike is held close

It is amazing how much time a simple tool can save on a job, and how much time can be wasted when a process is done inaccurately with the wrong tool.

I use 3D-Printing almost daily to create fixtures for projects in my shop …

3D Printed Band-Saw Fixture

View of 3DP Saw Fixture holding the Rod after 9 Degree Angled Cuts

3D-Printed designs are much easier to create because what you draw can be printed by just pressing the START button and come back later to have a finished part … I’ll go to bed after starting a 3D-Print ~ wake up, and it is done.

SolidWorks Concept Designs for the Old & New Versions

Previously machined a drilling guide out of metal, and it worked great, but keeping track of it seems to be the biggest issue… Also with many job-sites we need a drilling guide in each vehicle so one it is available when needed.

I would show a photo of the original metal drilling guide, but that is part of the problem, we need more than one, because I have no idea where to find it?

Now I can easily 3D-Print several more Drilling/Measuring Guides and don’t have to spend the time machining them, and while they are 3D-Printing I can work on other projects … It is like getting two things done at once.

SolidWorks CAD Software – Transparent View

I decided to make several 3D Printed versions using a combination of Nuts, Bolts, Aluminum flatbar, and 3D-Printed parts …

Design works great, but wanted to make it even simpler so that anyone can push the START button on the 3D-Printer … and then press in a few 1/4″ nuts that can be found at any hardware store in any location where a job is taking place.

Teaching people to start a 3D-Printer is about like starting a Paper printer.

Top View of the Old & New Version

Re-designed the new Drilling & Measuring Guide to be 3D-Printed as one piece and the nuts would press into the 3D-Printed part.

Testing fit up of the 3D-Printed Part with Pipe Curve

For this post, I used SolidWorks CAD Software to cut out a small piece of the design and 3D-Print it as a test items for some of the features …

Would anyone else be able to use this 3D-Printed Drilling & Measuring guide?

Probably Not… but that is the great thing about 3D-Printed items, I don’t have to worry what OTHER people want; instead, I only have to design parts and tools that I need for my projects/business.

Decided to cut out a Section to Test Fit Dimensions

The features added to this 3D-Printed guide are:
– Drilled-out 1/4″ Nuts to align the 1/4″ drill bit for pilot holes in pipe
– Threaded 1/4″ Nuts to allow 1/4″ bolts to tighten guide in place on pipe
– Grooved areas that will hold paint to help locate drilling guide holes
– 3D-Printed 7/8″ Guide holes to check to make sure drilled hole are correct
– Cut guide so Top of pipe will fit into drill and holes will match up
.  .  .

I’m Still Amazed How Accurate 3D-Printed Parts can be Created

If anyone has concerns about the accuracy of 3D-Printed parts you can view the image above – Very Accurate!!

No.6-32 Threads Tapped into 3D-Printed Material

Threads can be tapped in 3D-Printed items, just that same as parts made from other materials … and 3DP holes sizes can be the same as Tap Drill sizes.

Tapping Threads and Pressing Hex Nuts into 3DP Test Part

By testing Hex Hole sizes, you can create a press in fit whereby the nuts do not fall out and can be hidden inside the 3D-Printed part; yet, still allowing the bolt or screw to be tightened from the outside.

Try machining Hex holes inside a round object on a Milling Machine – Not!!

But it’s simple to add Hex holes or shapes to 3D-Printed items … EASY!!

Combining Metal Nuts, Bolts, and Screws with 3D-Printed Parts

Another feature I like to add to my 3D-Printed tools is Paint Grooves …

Testing Blue Paint in the 3D-Printed Grooves

By drawing grooves ( or lettering ) in my 3DP parts, when the paint wears off of the outer surfaces, the paint stays in the grooves showing off lettering or guide lines on the parts …

Sanding the extra Blue paint off with a Sandpaper Sponge

Usually I would paint the entire side and let it wear off on its own, but for this test, I put the paint on with a toothpick then (after drying) sanded the paint off the outer surface.

Used the blue paint I had in the shop, but would probably use a Bright Yellow or Florescent Green on the actual Drilling & Measuring Guide.

Before and After – Blue Grooves

My AFINIA 3D-Printer does not have the ability to print the Drilling/Measuring Guide’s body as one part, so I used two smaller 3D-Printed parts.

With the Markforged 3D-Printer it can be created as one 3DP part.

SolidWorks CAD Software Rendering

I’m sure we will change the design many times as workers suggest new features they would like added to the Drilling & Measuring Guide …

But no worries, unlike having to create a new metal-casting mold, or machine a new part … I’ll just add new features to the SolidWorks CAD design and then just press the PRINT button on the Markforged Printer.

Markforged 3D-Printers

Markforged also has Metal 3D-Printing Technology!!

Markforged Metal 3D-Printer

That’s all for now … More (3DP) 3D-Printed Designs to Come later …

Click Image to View SolidWorks CAD Files and 3D-Printing .STL Files

If you are interested in designing something you feel could be printed out of strong material on a Markforged 3D-Printer, please send me a note.

We can discuss your idea and draw a SolidWorks CAD design … and see how your idea will look as a Photo-Realistic CAD rendering of the 3DP item.

CAD Rendering of 3D-Printed Submarine Toy with GoPro Inside it

Why am I offering to draw CAD items for people to try on Markforged?

Because they are on the correct track by producing 3D-Printers that print materials which can be used in real-world manufacturing & repair shop settings.

Request a Demo on the Markforged Website


… CHEERS!!   Charles Marlin ( @MetalDesigner )

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Filed under 3D-Printing, BRAINSTORMING, CONCEPTS, Markforged 3D-Printer, PROJECTS, SolidWorks CAD Rendering, THOUGHTS, WORKSHOP

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