3D Printing Interlocking Parts: How to Design Interlocking Joints?

  1. 3D Printing Interlocking Parts

3D printing interlocking parts has become a revolutionary technique for CNC 3D printing, and its potential is growing with each new innovation. The ability to interlock 3D-printed parts offers an exciting new set of opportunities for manufacturers and engineers alike. Through this article, I will explore the different techniques available when it comes to creating interlocking parts through 3D printing. I will also put a look at the advantages and challenges associated with this process, as well as discuss the various ways that interlocking parts can be used. So, let’s start.

Advantages of 3D Printing Interlocking Parts You Can Get

3D printing technology has revolutionized the manufacturing industry with its revolutionary interlocking parts. With 3D printing, businesses can now use this technology to create complex and intricate pieces that were previously impossible to produce with traditional methods. Businesses are now able to benefit from 3D printing in a variety of ways.

The main advantage of using 3D printing interlocking parts is that they save time and money. Companies no longer need to invest in expensive molds or other costly tooling processes because the same results can be achieved with a much lower cost per part.

3D-printed parts are more consistent than their traditionally-manufactured counterparts due to their precise design and production process, resulting in increased reliability over time.

Using 3D-printed interlocking parts allows companies to produce custom designs quickly and easily without sacrificing quality or accuracy.

Smaller details can be incorporated into designs quickly and easily when using 3D printing interlocking parts, allowing for greater design flexibility.

Which Technologies You Can Use for Printing Interlocking Joints?

3D printing technology has revolutionized the production of interlocking joints. With its ability to produce intricate, detailed objects from digital files, 3D printing can create highly accurate interlocking parts with a range of materials and sizes. Here, I will explore which technologies are best suited for creating effective and reliable interlocking joints for your project requirements.

1. Digital Light Processing (DLP)


The use of DLP technology offers several advantages when it comes to producing interlocking joints.

  • The accuracy, resolution, and speed all make it a great choice for producing intricate parts quickly and accurately.
  • With this method, multiple pieces can be printed simultaneously in different shapes; eliminating the need for manual assembly.
  • DLP technology allows for complex geometries, such as curves and holes that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to create with traditional manufacturing methods.


The process is more complex than traditional methods of producing interlocking parts, it takes longer to print from start to finish and involves multiple steps in order to properly complete a single product. This means that production time needs to be factored into any cost calculations associated with using this method of manufacturing interlocking parts.

2. Print Orientation


  • Print orientation technology ensures that each part of a joint fits together precisely, regardless of its complexity or size.
  • This allows users to customize their designs according to the specific application, ensuring maximum strength and stability in every joint.
  • It also reduces material wastage since less material is used when creating 3D-printed joints than traditional methods require.
  • This process is faster as it eliminates time-consuming methods such as welding or gluing each piece together by hand.


  • Using print orientation technology for printing interlocking joints is the lack of control over the quality and accuracy of printed parts.
  • Since 3D printing relies on CAD files to design components, any inaccuracies or flaws in the original designs will be replicated during production.
  • It can take several attempts to get a part that meets all requirements due to inaccurate settings or misalignment errors from post-printing processes such as sanding and finishing.

3. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)


  • SLS offers excellent accuracy compared to other 3D printing methods.
  • With this technology, complex geometries can be easily printed with a precision of 0.1 mm and more intricate details can be achieved than with other types of 3D printers.
  • The parts produced using this technology have a high strength-to-weight ratio because layers of material are fused together in a single process instead of being built up layer by layer as in other forms of 3D printing.
  • This makes the parts durable and strong enough for long-term use even when subjected to external force or pressure.


  • One of the biggest disadvantages associated with using SLS technology for 3D printing interlocking parts is that the surfaces may be rough and inconsistent due to the laser sintering process.
  • This can lead to gaps or misalignments in the printed pieces, which can cause issues when trying to fit them together correctly.
  • Due to the high heat required for laser sintering, there is a possibility of thermal damage occurring on some materials if they are not properly shielded from the laser beam during production.

4. Stereolithography (SLA)


The advantages of using SLA sintering for printing interlocking joints are numerous.

  • It offers great flexibility in the design process as the user can easily adjust the size and shape of an object without having to recreate a new one from scratch every time.
  • This type of 3D printing can also be used for large-scale projects such as furniture or automotive body panels where it requires a high degree of precision in order to ensure an exact fit between components.



  • One of the downsides of SLA and SLS printing technology is that it can be expensive to purchase and maintain the necessary equipment.
  • These technologies require a high level of skill and expertise in order to operate correctly. That means only highly experienced personnel should be allowed to handle any type of complex print task involving interlocking joints.
  • SLA and SLS printers often have smaller build areas than other types of 3D printers, which can limit their usefulness if larger parts need to be printed.

5. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)


  • The cost-effectiveness of FDM is one of its greatest assets for creating interlocking parts.
  • The printer itself is relatively inexpensive compared to other methods such as selective laser sintering (SLS), which require more advanced equipment and materials to fabricate parts.
  • The material costs associated with FDM are typically lower because it only requires a single filament instead of multiple components like SLS.


One major issue with FDM technology for printing interlocking joints is that it does not produce adequate accuracy or repeatability when creating the tightly fitting components needed for this type of joint. This results in poor fitment between two pieces joined by an FDM-printed joint, leading to a weak connection that may fail under load or other stressors.

3D Printing Interlocking Joints Designing Instructions

Interlocking joints are essential parts of many 3D printing projects. From furniture to RC vehicles, these components provide a secure connection between parts and hold them in place. Designing 3D printing interlocking joints can seem challenging, but with the right knowledge and tools anyone can learn to create durable and reliable connections for their custom creations.

Creating a successful joint requires careful forethought and precision when it comes to designing pieces that will fit together properly. Interlocking designs need to be strong enough to keep two pieces together while also allowing them to be easily separated when desired. Start by sketching out various ideas on paper before you move on to digital design software like SolidWorks or Autodesk Fusion 360 which will allow you to adjust your dimensions quickly and accurately.


3D printing interlocking parts is an incredibly useful technique to have. It can save time, money, and materials while also increasing the strength of the prototype or model. With the right software, a few simple measurements, and some patience, almost anyone can learn how to join 3D-printed parts. Take the time to practice this skill and become comfortable with it in order to unlock more possibilities for your 3D printing projects! So why not give it a try today?

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