The ability to add functional components into a printed part can add additional value to a simple plastic component. Magnets, fasteners and electronic components dropped into the middle of print can change the way we look at plastic 3D printing, in fact it is probably the only process that can have 'drop in' parts during a print process. Lets take a look at how we drop in a metal nut in to a 3D printed part to make the component have metallic threads.
Step 1: Load your part in to CURA and orient the part in the correct printing direction, make sure to orient it in such a way that you will be able to drop the nut from the top of the print.
Step 2: Slice the part in CURA, make sure to remove the support structures from the space that will be occupied by the nut. This can be done by avoiding support structures completely or by using the support blocker feature for that particular space.
Step 3: Once the part is sliced, we need to look for the layer before the layer that covers our dropped in object. To do this move into the preview section and use the slider bar on the right side, for finer control use the ctrl key with the upward arrow.
Step 4: Once you have the layer number, you will now need to add a "post processing script". To do this click on the extensions tab on the top of the screen, then choose the post processing option and then modify G-Code.
Step 5: You will next be presented with another window, click on the add a script drop down and select pause at height. You will presented with a bunch of new settings on the right side. Choose whether to pause at a particular layer number or at a height. Choose the X and Y print head park position. The retraction can be 1 mm and speed set to 30mm/s there is no need to redo the layers, ensure that the standby temperature is the same as the printing temperature.
Step 6: Slice the file again and save your gcode on the SD card.
Make sure to be present near your machine when it pauses to add the nut inside.
Happy 3D printing !