Why being able to make right-now is useful

Today’s make is a great example of what having these kinds of making tools at home can do for you. Got a call from my wife, who was on shift, that one of the exam lights in the procedure area of the animal hospital had broken its handle off and the other was about to fail. So a quick trip down, took the old handle and quickly whipped it up in CAD (OnShape) and 3D printed it in Taulman3D Nylon 910 (vastly tougher than whatever plastic this was) and embedded the knurled nuts from the old one). Rushed back down 2 hours later and tried to install it, to find that this light doesn’t come apart in any useful way. So rushed back home, redesigned it to have the nuts on the inside and bolts on the outside, reprinted and rushed back 2 hours again, and installed. So in the space of 4-5 hours, they had all new (and tougher if I say so myself) parts and were back in full safe operation. So can’t want for the GlowForge as it will add rapid making possibilities to the mix!

Here is the one that was about to fail:

Here is the new one going on (had to bring my son as it was a two person job, using long surgical instruments to get the seat, nut and lock washer inside):

(yes, I cleaned that gunk off where someone tried to tape the handle back together)

And finally every job needs a supervisor (that’s Abby the hospital cat):


Everybody needs a supervisor kitty. :relaxed:


Nice! I love 910. Probably one of the greatest nylons ever made. Just wish it didn’t creep under load.


Nice. If you can get your hands on a 3d scanner you could probably also make parts for the animals too!

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Cool! And yeah, being able to Just Do Something is both satisfying and useful.

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I love this!!! Less lifesaving but still satisfying will be the ability to whip out a solution to ordinary household problems.


Broken handles and knobs over the lifetime of a 3D printer will pay for its cost, I believe. For me it would be the plastic ring that screws on to seal the bottom of a blender. The whole blender is well-built stainless. The container itself is thick, heavy glass. The ring is a joke that has broken three times. Maybe I tighten too hard. I’ve thought about it as a good exercize in 3D design. If I do, I think I’ll have it machined in aluminum so it won’t break! But a better plastic that doesn’t crack upon tightening would be nice. 3D printer for the win.

Great real world example and kitty is cute!


My first project with my first 3D printer was a replacement knob for my wife’s Crock-Pot. :smiling_face:


The button for the sprayer on the kitchen sink. Which has started to fail after several years, so time to print another…

I suppose after the whole sharing question policy discussion over on the beta forum:

Part Studio 1 - Surgical Light Handle.step (125.6 KB)

Wait what? You can’t upload an STL file? You can upload a STEP file but not STL? Um sure, well if you have Fusion or whatever, you can rip the STEP into STL… @dan is there a reason you can’t upload STL files?

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STL files are often mis-classified as security certificates and that may be one reason they aren’t allowed.

Awesome. I had a similar experience with my makerbot, a friends fridge had broken a key part to hold one of the sliding drawers and the company wanted $40 for a new one. I printed it out in like 2 hours, and BAM!! I had successfully replaced a $40 part with a $2000 machine! Ha.




And for a first test:
Surgical Light Handle.stl (1.3 MB)


Yep! Imported fine to S3D… :slight_smile:

It uploaded, and downloads. (And opens in openscad on my mac). Now all we need is an stl browser plugin.

Did you know the finder will preview an STL? Just space bar on an STL…

I noticed that – even the download icon came with a thumbnail. (And I expect if I had a more appropriate program for STL’s, they would open in that. I was more than a bit surprised, because openscad came up with the appropriate import command in the text window. I could have started adding, subtracting, scaling and so forth, and then saved the result as a perfectly good piece of design code. Threads, for example…)


[quote=“jamesdhatch, post:8, topic:4111”] My first project with my first 3D printer was a replacement knob for wife’s crock pot.
The more I hang out with you folks, talking about lasers, the more I need a 3D printer. Not that I have this exact case in my cupboard today; but I could use a 3D printer.

And I have a dozen other ideas in my head.