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Threaded Brass Inserts: Test to Destruction

With an outmoded LM12UU linear bearing drag knife mount on hand, I threaded an M4 screw into each brass insert, lined it up on a hole in a homebrew (by a long-gone machinist, not me) steel bench block, and applied pressure with the drill press until the insert tore out:

Brass Insert Retention test - A B
Brass Insert Retention test – A B

The retina-burn orange ring is printed in PETG with my usual slicer settings: three perimeter threads, three top and bottom layers, and 15% 3D honeycomb infill. That combination is strong enough and stiff enough for essentially everything I do around here.

The insert on the left came out of its hole carrying its layer of epoxy: the epoxy-to-hole bond failed first. Despite that, punching it out required enough force to convince me it wasn’t going anywhere on its own.

The column of plastic around the insert standing up from the top fits into the central hole (hidden in the picture) in the bench block. Basically, the edge of the hole applied enough shear force to the plastic to break the infill before the epoxy tore free, with me applying enough grunt to the drill press quill handle to suggest I should get a real arbor press if I’m going to keep doing this.

The third insert maintained a similar grip, as seen from the left:

Brass Insert Retention test - C left
Brass Insert Retention test – C left

And the right:

Brass Insert Retention test - C right
Brass Insert Retention test – C right

The perimeter threads around the hole tore away from the infill, with the surface shearing as the plastic column punched through.

Bottom line: a dab of epoxy anchors an insert far better than the 3D printed structure around it can support!

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