Using a 3d-Printed Bonefolder

This new era of 3d-printed things is finally drawing upon me and my bookbinding workshop. I’m already using some plastic star knobs to tighten simple presses (and plan to start selling these modified versions pretty soon at my Etsy store).

The other thing I’ve printed several weeks ago but had no chance to test was a plastic bonefolder. I haven’t used it because I had some doubts about the design and the final quality of the tool. However, this Friday I had no other folder on hand – all other my bone and Bakelite folders were left at the place where I’m teaching my bookbinding classes for children.

The overall experience was quite OK. However, I definitely need to try printing the folder with some other sort of plastic. While I was folding sheets into signatures, plastic surface started to get these small notches due to the friction. For this print I’ve used PLA and it seems to be too soft. Or the melting tempreature is too low (200-210C). Maybe if I use some other plastic with a higher melting temperature, the result would be better.

Back side, where the supports were printed. I haven’t removed them properly and you can see that the surface is ragged:

Close up of the notches:

For now, I will put this folder on an acetone bath to smoothen the surfaces and will try it with some other bookbinding processes next time.

Have you already tried any 3d-printed tools at your workshop? Please share your experience with us!

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