AN Bolt Configurator

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Ollie Krause

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Hi Home Built Airplanes Community,

Having trouble locating CAD files for AN bolts? Search no further! I created an AN bolt configurator which can model any AN3-AN8 (3/16-1/2") bolt with a length of up to -20 (7.75") within a tolerance of +-0.001". That being said, I haven't tested all the potential combinations and I do have a couple known (minor) issues which are discussed in this blog post. I hope people find this useful and I plan to be updating and expanding it as I learn more about AN bolts and get the chance to measure a wider range of them. I'd love to hear any suggestions, comments, or improvement requests.

Annotation 2020-06-23 112157.png
 

Jay Kempf

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There is virtually no one here that would appreciate the tedious work that went into this.

Awesome. Do you apply material properties to the configurations?

How does a non-Onshape user use these models? Export to .STP?
 
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There is virtually no one here that would appreciate the tedious work that went into this.

But there are a few of us that do. Lots of work up front but a real time saver in the long run.

and get the chance to measure a wider range of them.
Attached is a PDF of the AN bolt specs. Might save some measuring?
 

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  • bolts_an3_an10.pdf
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Dana

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NIce work. I have a similar setup for KeyCreator (only), also does AN/MS nuts, washers, and machine screws, but I didn't create it.
 

gtae07

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Nice work! I did a similar effort with the various shop hardware we used in our test facility many years ago.

One thing... you might want to consider not modeling threads and just making the threaded portion smooth in the model. Make the OD of that part equal to the major diameter of the thread (it'll be less than that of the shank by a couple thousandths). Threads are graphically resource-intensive and if you start dropping bolts with real modeled threads into a larger model it'll quickly bog down, even on a powerful CAD station.
 

Ollie Krause

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There is virtually no one here that would appreciate the tedious work that went into this.

Awesome. Do you apply material properties to the configurations?

How does a non-Onshape user use these models? Export to .STP?

Yeah it's briefly explained in the blog post linked above. All you need to do is select the part configuration in the upper left hand corner and then right click on the "part 1" in the lower left hand corner and click export. It should allow you to choose from a variety of file types and resolutions when necessary. I can also create a mini tutorial on Google Slides or something if that would be useful.

I also applied material properties to the bolt and you can select the "part 1" and then click the scale icon in the lower right hand corner to get mass properties.

Annotation 2020-06-23 231408.png

These are all great questions so I'll go ahead and add some more details to my blog post.
 

Ollie Krause

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Feb 26, 2020
Messages
103

Ollie Krause

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
103
Nice work! I did a similar effort with the various shop hardware we used in our test facility many years ago.

One thing... you might want to consider not modeling threads and just making the threaded portion smooth in the model. Make the OD of that part equal to the major diameter of the thread (it'll be less than that of the shank by a couple thousandths). Threads are graphically resource-intensive and if you start dropping bolts with real modeled threads into a larger model it'll quickly bog down, even on a powerful CAD station.

Thanks for the suggestion! I just updated the design to have an option to turn off the thread. Since I'm using a free Onshape account, keeping the graphics simple will definitely improve performance.
 

Dana

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Don't model a true helical thread. Not for display speed, but the math behind the helical shape that is excessive, and there's no circle to find a center point on. Some CAD systems simulate a thread with conical ribs, from any direction other than straight side on they look just like real threads.
 

Jay Kempf

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Really good stuff, thanks. I concur with the rest that turning off the helix is a good idea for inserting in a large assembly. That is the engineering standard. I do use threads sometimes when I 3D print. Have been able to make female and male threads that came out surprisingly well.

And yes I did mean almost no one would or could appreciate the work you put into this cause most people have never had to build a parametric configuration library like this from scratch. It's a lot of work. Great job.

McMaster Carr has a massive CAD library and some other mechanical suppliers do as well. So much work to make all that stuff build properly. So much convenience for the user. If it wasn't for web resources I'd have to build all this stuff from scratch.
 
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