Drilling with friction

There is an alternative to normal drilling, and its called “Flow drilling”. Instead of using cutting edges, flow drilling uses heat to melt a hole in thin materials like sheets of metal or plastics. The benefit of this is that the sheet is less likely to crack and the melted material forms a “sleeve” (insert) that increases the thickness of the material around the hole. This sleeve can then be threaded, making separate nuts unnecessary and simplify assembly. In this demonstration fromĀ arduinoversusevil, a heat-resistantĀ cemented carbide drill is used. But if the material you want to drill through has a lower melting temperature, like aluminium or plastics, any pointy harden steel shaft will work just as well. You could even use a normal drill bit, turned up-side-down and grind the shank end into a cone in order to use this technique!