Magnet joint

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It has been proposed that this page should be moved to Magnetic Ball Joint. Please voice your opinion in the discussion page.

Magnet joints are much easier and quicker to assemble than other joints. This makes them popular for making small scale models of mechanical arrangement, to check for mechanical interference, singularities, etc. before committing to a full-size machine with "proper" joints.

Delta prototype: see the magnets?

Some early RepRap/RepStrap prototypes, such early Delta and Viktor's tripod repstrap demonstrator, used magnet joints.

With the magnets on hand, these magnetic joints held 3 kg per joint.[1]

That seems to be more than enough to hold up a Bowden extruder at reasonable levels of acceleration and vibration. Which makes some people ask: why bother with complicated, difficult-to-assemble "proper" joints when magnetic joints work just as well, and perhaps better?

  • RepRap forums: "Sextupteron" has a long discussion of various magnet joints and where to get parts. Some people worried that using a magnetized ball may suffer from pole misalignment, and suggested cylinder-ball or cylinder-ball-cylinder may be a better arrangement, where the cylinders are magnetized with a pole on the flat end that touches the ball, and the ball is a (non-magnetized) steel ball.