Thread ID Tool

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About: I'm an inventor / maker / designer based in the Bay Area. My background is in residential architecture, film set design, animatronics, media arts, exhibit design, and electronics. I use digital design and fa...

Intro: Thread ID Tool

I know, I know, you can buy these. I wanted to make my own thread ID tool with all the nuts and screws I most commonly use for projects. This one has metric and imperial with rulers on each side so I can measure length as well.

Step 1: Tools + Materials

  • Fusion 360
  • 3D Printer
    • I use a Creality CR-10. It's the best bang for your buck, in my opinion.
    • Use this coupon code at Gearbest to get it for $359: GBCRUS
  • 3D Print Filament
    • I used Matte Fiber PLA from Protopasta for this project, but pretty much any filament will work. I like this stuff because the finish looks really good.
  • Srews and Nuts: The sizes and threads I used are shown below. All metric threads are standard.

Fusion 360 is free and it's awesome. I use it for everything I design and fabricate.

Student / Educator License (renew free every 3 years)

Hobbyist / Startup (renew free yearly)

Follow along with this Instructable to model your own!

Step 2: 3D Modeling

The youtube video shown here explains the modeling process. I basically just imported a bunch of McMaster-Carr components.

Step 3: 3D Printing

For this print, I used 30% infill, which I'm told has the optimal structural strength to material use ratio. I always use rafts when there's a larger surface area on the bed- I find it prevents warping.

The STL files are 3D print ready, so feel free to use them if you want the exact same nuts and screws that I used. The graphic files have the ruler and label graphics that you can print out and stick to the top of the tester.

Step 4: Assembly

The assembly is pretty straightforward. The screws go through the holes in order the nuts go in the nut pockets, and the laser etched graphic panel is glued to the top with E-6000.

I added a keyhole feature so I could hang it on a wall as well.

Step 5: Test Your Fasteners

I'm really happy with how it turned out. The nuts and screws are very secure, the spacing is just right for avoiding nuts getting stuck without making the piece too big, and it looks nice in my shop.

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    12 Discussions

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    jborneman

    Question5 months ago

    What was the thickness of plywood you used? also, can you export the graphics as a .DXF file for better scaling?

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    sandoralex

    8 months ago

    Very nicely done, and looks great!

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    ElegantAndrogyne

    8 months ago

    A very clever device indeed :)
    Especially when you deal with different pitches (TPI) or both metric and imperial fasteners.
    Sometimes I've got difficulty telling 6-32 (IIRC; the one you use for attaching 3.5" HDDs) from M4.

    By the way, the chart in the 1st step has the inch sizes in reverse order (smallest should be on the left).

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    iamthetajElegantAndrogyne

    Reply8 months ago

    Actually, ElegantAndrogyne, there's nothing wrong with the ruler. As the numbers are oriented using the nearest edge as the bottom, once you turn it upside down it works just as well and the number sequence starts with zero on the left, which is totally. You could list the numbers either way, just depends on personal preference really...

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    pgs070947

    8 months ago

    Just the ticket for sorting all those tins of unknown nuts and screws and washers that used to be sorted until the jobs came along.
    Like the others have said, there are several pitches for most diameters and it gets worse the larger the screw diameter. I'm no expert, but they seem to kick in for diameters above M5 or M6 and I have just bought some metric taps for M7 0.75 and M8 0.75. A lot of panel mounted electronic components use these finer pitches. For plastic enclosures with walls thicker than the component available thread, tapping the wall is the easiest option

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    JON-A-TRONpgs070947

    Reply8 months ago

    Yeah, there's a wide variety of thread sizes out there. I just made one for the fasteners I use for everything- I go with course threads all the time.

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    MichaelAtOz

    8 months ago

    As you have access to a laser cutter it would have been simpler to just laser cut a base layer & do it all in wood...

    1reply
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    Chuck666

    Tip8 months agoon Step 1

    Don’t forget 1/4-24 the fine thread size for 5/16. Both are commonly used sizes.

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    ElizabethGreene

    8 months ago

    This is a fantastic idea. The store bought versions of these are crazy expensive. Well done.

    Tractor Supply sells fasteners by the pound, which might be a spot cheaper than McMaster. I'm going today to get the parts to make one.

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    TheOriginalNerd

    Question8 months ago

    Did you make more then one of these, to account for the different thread widths?

    1more answer
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    JON-A-TRONTheOriginalNerd

    Answer8 months ago

    No, I just made one with the threads I use most often. Not a bad Idea though!

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