How not to design fixture plate caps

I recently purchased the Saunders Machine Works HDM fixture plate set. Taking inspiration from another thread on here, I decided to design and 3dprint my own TPU plugs/caps.
But why not overengineer it, and embed bearings in them so you can use a magnet to pop them out! 3k 1/4" bearings are surprisingly cheap on Amazon. So I came up with this:

After lots of iterations to get the fit and printing just perfect, I got to where the bearings snap in nicely, the plugs slip fit into the fixture plate and magnet pops them straight out. Started batch printing them and was about 1/3 done when I had the realization that I use a vacuum to clean up chips… and if the plugs are loose enough a magnet can remove them then so can the vacuum. Entire concept basically down the drain…

Back to the drawing board and just go with the same approach SMW use of having a press fit, and using a pick to remove them.


The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. A+ for effort. The good news is you already have the basics for the next iteration.


I designed one similar to the SMW ones that could be easily printed in tpu. Cheap enough to use and discard after a couple removals.

Can you print the cap with a thread at the end and a dime size slot on the top side.


Design and 3D print a hexagonal lattice screen to capture the plugs. The hexagons only have to be slightly smaller than the shortest dimension of the plugs.

It can either be a new head that goes on the end of the vacuum hose, or it can just go inside the end of the hose.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.