3D printing fixed it

2016-11-22

Ok, so the big promise of 3D printing is that I can get whetever item I need at any moment, in whatever shape I desire, which would be very handy for repairs and replacements. As anyone dealing with 3D printing can attest, the truth is that it is not always that easy.

Usually making replacement parts is either too time consuming and tedious, too difficult (in particular getting correct measurements of complex shapes and turning them into 3D models), or the part has some technical requirements that 3D printing cannot fullfil (e.g. heat resistance, strength, weight, etc). I know, today you can 3D print almost any material in almost any configuration. Just not at home, and just not at a reasonable cost.

But every now and then, something in our household breaks or gets lost where it’s almost trivial to replace it with a 3d printed part. One such thing was a clasp. Here it is:

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It’s  a very simple interlocking clasp which works nicely. The original was made from metal and curved, so it looked more elegant, but replicating the original shape would have taken quite some time. So I went for a simple square shape. Here is the clasp unlocking:

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I didn’t want to cut and resew the straps, so I left small gaps in the clasp, threaded the straps through the gaps and then sealed them with extra PLA directly from the hotend.

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Here are the STL files: buckle05_femal.stl, buckle05_male.stl

Another very useful replacement part was this lamp holder:

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It’s not the most beautiful accessory in the world, but it helped me revive one of these old office-style lever lamps. We had lost the original base a long time ago, and the new one simply attaches to the edge of my desk. Looks hacky and makeshift, but works nicely.

Here is the STL: lampholder_02.stl

 

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