What's cheap and dishwasher-resistant?

Don’t worry, I’m not planning on making utensils yet (although cut, slump and bend seems pretty plausible). I want to make jigs that squeeze various spring-loaded water/coffee/etc lids so that the liquid path stays open in the dishwasher and the things actually get clean. I don’t know if acrylic would stand the heat, and delrin is kinda spendy. I could 3d print out of abs or dishwasher-safe PLA, but it seems like a fun quick laser project


Unless you only run it on cold, I’d avoid PLA. I routinely thermoform it with hot water out of my faucet (~145ºF).

Was going to say “teenagers” – oh wait, I just did.


I also thermoform the regular stuff. But there’s “high-temperature” PLA from a few sources (for example) that claims to be dishwasherable. (I read up a little, and apparently PLA comes in left- and right-handed molecules and you can change the usual properties by monkeying with the mix.)

I like PLA because it tends to be more rigid, so I can use less of it. PET(G) and ABS both flex unless the piece is pretty chunky.

(Now I’m wondering how thick a piece of 3d-printed material I could cut with a GF if it were only partly filled…)

Laser cutting 3D printed parts doesn’t work very well - the difference between the perimeters and infill makes a mess per the client I had that tried it.
I would suggest PETG or PETT as both are generally food safe. Nylon can also be food safe and is really tough.


Unless your water is boiling, acrylic won’t even bend in the dishwasher. I use 300-500F for bending or slumping acrylic and even that can take a bit of time.


Some kind of stainless steel fastener might do the trick. These are 302 stainless, which a quick cyber search suggests would be appropriate for the dishwasher…
Not the most fun, but but they are cheap and robust.

But, if acrylic would work like @jamesdhatch says, then that seems like the perfect solution.

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Yep, if acrylic works, that would be great, especially because I have a bunch of 1/4" scrap. The containers in question are like this: from an early generation where the seal doesn’t hinge open for washing. So I need to make a piece that’s pretty big as useless widgets go.


Tiny little ratchet straps?
Re-usable zipties?
plain old c-clamps?

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The button is recessed when in the open position (of course it is), so anything with a strap/tie needs some kind of block to get into the recess; I’ve tried that, but it’s finicky. I guess I could go with c clamps made out of something that doesn’t rust, but why settle for an off the shelf solution when lasers?


I can attest that ABS does not hold up well in a dishwasher. At least not with weight applied to it as well.

Tried to print replacement wheels for my dishwasher racks. Pretty sure I used the ABS and not the PLA for the final wheels.

They survived for a while, but eventually gave in to heat + pressure and lost their shape.

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Interesting. I have an abs clamp I made for one of those spring-loaded ice cream scoops, and it’s held up pretty well for about a year. (But alas we don’t eat that much ice cream, so you’re probably right)

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It took a few months and with a family of 4 + frequent guests, we do dishes at least once a day, which is why I am inclined to trust my memory and say I really did use ABS (but my memory is terrible, so it is a shaky trust).

What about using wood? Is the only issue with putting wood in a dishwasher that it will tend to swell and break over time? If so, then think of them as consumables.

My thought about straps was to make something simple that would press the button in when the strap was tightened. If wood (perhaps dipped in epoxy, or finished with CA glue?) you would want to be aware of the grain direction, but it could be a very simple design.

Then again, if it could be made of wood, you could make a much fancier thing. Maybe like this (top-down view)?

I have a thermos with a very similar cap design. I hand wash it.


Darn. Now you’ve made me think about it, and it turns out what I need is a piece something like this: Only less ugly.

Might be worth looking into ColorFabb HT. It is good up to 110C and should be food safe. It is really tough, too.

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