I was browsing the international section of my local supermarket and (as always) managed to find something I couldn’t live without. I picked up a box of scone mix that looked pretty tasty, some clotted cream and jam. The supermarket had spoken, I was eating scones today.
Sadly after returning home with my bounty I realized I did not own a biscuit/scone cutter. Thankfully I do own a 3D printer that can make me a cutter at any diameter I desire. After a quick model and print I was ready to go.
I put together a video inspired by Coronet Instruction Films to document my trials and tribulations.
I (as I imagine is the case with most most makers/DIY’ers/gadget hackers) have several tackle box style divided boxes for storing random odds and ends. These boxes are usually secured with snapping clips on the front of the box, usually. Unfortunately for me in my haste one shopping trip I bought a box that was missing one of these all important clips. For months I lived on the edge, narrowly avoiding an electronic component avalanche every time I moved the box around my workshop.
Thanks to Makerbot I have the ability to repair rather than replace. Using one photograph of the existing clip and a digital caliper I was able to knock out a replacement in around an hour, most of that time was spent waiting for Makerbot to print.
As always I’ve also uploaded the 3D model files to Thingiverse for others to use. This looks to me like a print that might benefit from being recreated in OpenSCAD. OpenSCAD is a modeling tool that uses a scripting language to generate your model. One of the benefits to using this program over something like Google Sketch up is the ability for users to tweak the measurements and parameters of the model, something that isn’t very easy to do in Google Sketchup. However (as you will see in the video) I was able to model the clip itself in about 5 minutes so it’s probably just as easy to re-create different size clips as it is to re-size the original model.
In the video below you’ll see the complete build process, from part, to photo, to model, to printed replacement part. Not only is my box more secure now that I have two clips, the new clip actually snaps on tighter than the original from the manufacturer. I actually ended up replacing both clips with my printed versions.
Owning a Makerbot has changed the way I think about replacement parts. So when a friend of mine mentioned that he lost the cap for the front of his mixer I had to step in.
“No Jeff, I can’t let you buy a $6 replacement cap for your mixer. That is ridiculous.” I said as I rode in my Makerbot high horse. “Let me take care of this.”
As an owner of this particular mixer myself (as should any home baker) I was able to use my cap as a reference model. I spent about 15 minutes with SketchUp and my digital caliper and was able to get a pretty good replica of the part. I made some minor customization that allows it to fit in both my newer “Classic Plus” mixer and my parents ~15 year old mixer (“Artisan?”).
As you can see from the gallery below the model isn’t very complicated. I’ve uploaded both a Makerbot branded and plain cap (suitable for customization). While this isn’t an expensive replacement part it’s always nice to have the option to spend $0.25 printing a replacement instead of paying $6 + shipping. Hopefully another Thingiverse user will find this helpful in the future.
I’m a huge fan of Thingiverse.com user Zaggo’s video series “Better Living Through Makerbot” Here’s a link to his first video. In this series he shows how you can use Makerbot around the house as a tool rather than a toy. I’ve printed my share of legos and whistles, but seeing someone actually fix problems around the house with Makerbot is really cool.
I ran into a problem around the house that I realized I could fix with the help of Makerbot. So here’s my first installment of “Everyday fixes with Makerbot”.
The table in my workshop/man cave was in desperate need of some cable management. The best way I could see fixing this problem is by running some of my cables down through the desk. The only issue with this is that I would then have a huge ugly hole in the middle of my desk. So this was the good news moment of my day.
Good News: I had a white 2″ desk gromit I could use to fill the hole and class things up a bit.
Bad News: My desk is black.
I had some black ABS already loaded in my Thing-o-Matic so I took the next logical step and reached for my digital caliper to get modeling. In about 15 minutes I was able to make a nearly exact scale model of my white desk gromit in Google Sketchup.
I exported the model from Sketchup, loaded it into ReplicatorG and hit print. Since I this was printed without a raft it only took a little over an hour before I had a functioning desk gromit in black. The top fits snuggly into the base without being too hard to remove. It actually holds on a little better than the store bought model. Here’s a link to my model on Thingiverse (which can be freely downloaded and printed). This model can be scaled up or down to fit various hole sizes, the full size model will fit a 2 inch hole.
Here are some pictures comparing the store bought vs printed model. Over all I’m very happy with the print quality and can’t see any reason to buy a desk gromit ever again!
Note: The gromit is stuck into a white cardboard box for the photos. The black desk made it impossible to see anything (which after all is the whole point).