Maker and STEM educator Barb Noren details the technique on how to make 3D filament rivets for a quick and easy solution in connecting printed pieces. (Photo by Barb Noren)

Maker and STEM educator Barb Noren details the technique on how to make 3D filament rivets for a quick and easy solution in connecting printed pieces. Photograph by Barb Noren

Anyone who has ever 3D printed their own projects or even those who tasked their printing jobs with a third party knows that connecting loose pieces can be a chore. Let’s face it, there are only a finite number of ways to do so with the most common being glue, metal fasteners/screws, chains, snap together pieces and even zip ties.

Occasionally some makers come along that provides an ingenious solution to all-to-common problems. Maker and STEM educator Barb Noren is one of those who came up with a novel solution to connecting 3D printed parts—using 3D filament to act as rivets!

Barb’s rivet solution is pretty straightforward. Most Makers with 3D printers (and those without) already have all the tools that are required, including wire cutters or pliers with cutters, a hot glue gun or soldering iron, and of course ABS/PLS filament.

To make the rivet simply heat one end of the filament with the business end of the glue gun or soldering iron, flatten it out on any protected flat surface, thread it through the pieces you’re connecting, cut off the extra leaving just a bit on the end to heat and form the other end of the rivet.

That’s it, no other steps are needed and if users want to remove the rivet, simply cut one end off. Cleanup of the hot tools is also a breeze and requires just a few scrubs from a metal pad or some steel wool to remove any plastic residue.