Embedded Magnets in 3D Prints

Embedded magnets or other hardware into your 3D print is a fun way to add functionality to your 3D prints.

For the holiday season, 3D-PT is planning on selling household items, including fridge magnets, fridge hooks, and other household items.

Adding hardware to prints expands what your 3D printer can do, and gives you more functionality in your 3D prints. While you can epoxy magnets to the outside of a 3D print, it’s not as secure as embedded magnets permanently inside the print itself.

Make a Hole!!!

If you think about designing a solid object, then to embed a magnet you have to create a cavity for the magnet.

For this I wanted to design a magnet that would let you know if the dishwasher was filled with clean or dirty dishes. While there are plenty of designs on Thingiverse I wanted to make one with embed magnets.

From past magnet designs, I figured out you can still have a magnet 1 mm off the build plate and still have it work as a fridge magnet.

embedded magnet designed in Tinkercad.
The embedded magnets will sit in the two circles are the cavities inside the print for the 13 mm diameter x 5 mm thick ceramic magnets. Screen capture by Author.
Side view of cavity for embedded magnet.
Cavity for embedded magnet lifted 1 mm off the build plate. This will be closed over as the print finished, embedding the magnet permanently inside. Screen Capture by Author.

Once you create the cavity, you then go onto finish the rest of the design. For this I wanted something that you could rotate 180 degrees to show if the dishwasher was clean or dirty.

Clean / Dirty dishwasher magnet designed with embedded magnets in TinkerCAD.
The planed design, with embedded magnets not shown. This will be in two colors, with the engraved lettering being black, and the top being glow-in-the-dark.

G-code Changes

For this project I wanted to change the color for the lettering, and to pause the print while I place the magnets into the prints. From previous magnets I found it takes some time to place all the magnets, so you’ll need to give yourself time to place the magnets before resuming the print.

In Cura, I used the Post processing extension to add the G-code command to pause at layer height X to pause the print.

( show pics of print or make video, insert here)

The last time I put in magnets, I had an issue with the powerful rare earth magnets trying to jump out of the cavities as they printed.

For this print I reduced the number of magnets. Because this did not require high strength rare earth magnets, I switched to weaker ceramic disk magnets. I also used a glue stick to secure the magnets in place inside the open print.