FlexMesh 2.1 Snap Together Flexible Chainmail Mesh

Author: neobobkrause, published on 2014-10-15

Click this button to get the 3D model


FlexMesh 1.0 is fun. Now let’s take it to the next level. Though the basic geometry remains the same, pins have been swapped out in favor of nubs. Objects connected via nubs are much easier to construct and experiment with. Now our FlexMesh creations are more durable and allow for almost limitless configurability of colors and geometries. FlexMesh 2 demonstrates how to work through even more of the challenges of today’s low-cost 3D printing technology

  • We can use multiple spot colors in our 3D creations.

  • We can quickly and easily explore topologies and geometries.

  • We can snap together a shape then take it apart and reuse parts over and over again.

  • We can expand the repertoire of FlexMesh-compatible shapes to explore, build and play with.

FlexMesh 2.1 is here. The downloads section now includes 5 & 6 sided shapes and a more rounded family of 5 new shapes. Read the release notes for full details.

TriSphere is another flexible mesh pattern worth exploring.

Check out the “I Made One” and “Remixes” sections for a sampling of FlexMesh objects you can make.

An Inventor Studios Tinkercad tutorial walks students through this design. Follow the entire collection to refine your modeling skills.


Read the FlexMesh 2.1 release notes for design changes and printing details.

FlexMesh 2 prints well in ABS and PLA with 2 shells and 10% to 20% infill. Just about any reasonably tuned FDM or SLA printer can be used. Slic3r, Makerware and Simplify3D are all able to accurately slice the shapes.

FlexMesh 2.1 is the 23th lap through our internal innovation cycle. It’s not perfect, though many earlier shortcomings have been resolved. The most significant challenge has been the spacing of the nubs, or bumps, on the connector shapes and the indents, or holes, in the Mains. (Duo’s, Tri’s, Quad’s,Penta’s & Hexa’s) Some printer/material combinations result in snug fits while others produce very loose ones. Read the release notes for furthere details.

Note: Here’s how to distinguish which printed connector variation you’re holding… The SubWide shape has a subtle ‘W’ on top. Each of the Sub’s released in the 2.1 release has a number embossed on one side between nubs. If you don’t see either of these markings then you probably have an original Sub.

FlexMesh shapes snap together using a twisting motion. Watch the video in the gallery of this thing to see how this twisting motion works. For best results, twist the nub into the hole from the front of the main.

Additional STL files have been added for printing large quantities of parts.

Have fun and please take the time to submit remixes for the benefit of all.

License: Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share Alike

Tags: chainmail, flexible, FlexMesh, joint, mesh, metamaterial, snap