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3D printing replacement feet for test equipment

maker, hacker, doer


April 28, 2018 15:25

This is one of my favorite uses for 3D printing - making parts to fix, enhance, or adapt existing products. It is so nice to be able to repair a product, keeping it out of the waste/recycle stream.

Sometimes the "repair" part can integrate hindsight about failure modes that the original designer lacked, making the repair better than the original.

While some parts may be difficult or impossible to create 3D-printed replacements for, others can be quite trivial.
One example is caps to protect the terminals of batteries when not in use, especially for batteries that have all their terminals on one end, like 9V consumer batteries, or many lithium batteries for phones or cameras.
Another example is caps to protect the terminals of connectors when not in use.
In both of these cases, the original product might not have even had a cap, but an appropriate cap can be very simple to model - pretty much just a shell very slightly larger than the cross-section of the battery or connector, closed at one end. A few extra ribs protruding from the outside of the cap can make it easier to get a hold of for pulling it off of the battery or connector. (These ribs are seldom present on the original, because it would significantly complicate the mold or molding process to incorporate them.)

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