One of the most useful tools I ever made was a converted Dremel workstation to hold a cheap soldering iron to be used to heat and press into place thermal inserts into 3D printed parts. It’s a handy rig and you can create very strong threaded connections using thermal inserts; however the tip on my soldering iron needed modification to just get it to work well with one size, M3. These Hakko Thermal Insert tips have been manufactured to fit a range of insert sizes, while also preventing damage to your usual soldering iron tip.
These tips are designed to be compatible with the Hakko FX-888D irons and as such, they are classed as a T18 style tip. It’s worth pointing out that there are many other manufacturers of soldering irons out there that use T18-compatible tips so you may find other soldering iron options available to you for your rig.
The tips cover a range of insert sizes from M2 to M5 and include an M2.5 tip — a great choice as M2.5 is a common mount size for Raspberry Pi, and M3 is common across Arduino and many other boards. If you’re into 3D printing, it’s important to get a decent fit and finish on the inserts to maximise the strength of the joint and we think these would help make that job a breeze. Give your prints a professional touch with metal threaded inserts!