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Simple 3D Printed Tool - Fastest Way to Proceed?

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  • Simple 3D Printed Tool - Fastest Way to Proceed?

    My wife wants a tool to make it easier to get the DVDs out of those cases they come in. Many of the plastic hubs that retain the disks are difficult to unlock and it hurts her arthritic hands to do so. I have given her some paper sleeves for some of her DVD collection, but some of the case designs make it difficult to remove the original inserts.

    So I want to make a 3D printed tool to press those hubs so the disks can be removed. And I want to put a nicely formed handle on it, like a pistol grip style. I am using Fusion 360 for my 3D design work. But a pistol grip seems like a bit of a design task and I am wondering if I can get that grip from a 3D library, perhaps like Thingverse, and then add the needed tip to it. Or if there is a library for Fusion that may have such a design that I could modify. Free would be best, but I would be willing to pay a small amount if necessary. And I have other projects so I want the fastest and/or easiest way.

    Any suggestions?
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    My wife wants a tool to make it easier to get the DVDs out of those cases they come in. Many of the plastic hubs that retain the disks are difficult to unlock and it hurts her arthritic hands to do so. I have given her some paper sleeves for some of her DVD collection, but some of the case designs make it difficult to remove the original inserts.

    So I want to make a 3D printed tool to press those hubs so the disks can be removed. And I want to put a nicely formed handle on it, like a pistol grip style. I am using Fusion 360 for my 3D design work. But a pistol grip seems like a bit of a design task and I am wondering if I can get that grip from a 3D library, perhaps like Thingverse, and then add the needed tip to it. Or if there is a library for Fusion that may have such a design that I could modify. Free would be best, but I would be willing to pay a small amount if necessary. And I have other projects so I want the fastest and/or easiest way.

    Any suggestions?
    This is the same issue I am running into with designing replica control stick handles. As machinists, we are all very accustomed to "solid modeling". Organic ergonomic handles are much more in the realm of "surface modeling". Fusion360 has a "surface modeling" workspace built in, as does Solidworks, I just never used the damn function before. Computer Graphics Artists who love Maya and 3D Studio Max, that's all they do, surface modeling...

    Comment


    • #3
      The other thing that might mess you up is figuring out what works with a hand which has different comfortable grip postures due to the arthritis.

      I'd suggest that first you play with some idea of how to collapse the hellish fingers in the DVD cases so the disc can be lifted out. with that in mind you'll know if it's a press or slide action to work the magic. Then perhaps print a tool to do this but which has a skeletal tang around which you can form a bunch of modeling clay. Give it to her along with a bunch of the extra clay. Show her how it works and then let her sculpt the sort of handle which works for her degree of grip and mobility to work the item how it needs to work to free the DVD's from the jaws of protective custody. When she gives it back to you then model that lump.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada

      Comment


      • #4
        OK, I assumed that some experimenting would be needed. I have looked at several different DVD boxes and they are all different. The common idea seems to be that you push the segmented, plastic hub down with a finger and the DVD either pops up or is free enough to be lifted off that hub. In the example boxes that I have looked at so far, this basic idea seems to work to varying degrees of success from it pops right off to the hub can be pushed as hard as you want and it will not give even a thousandth of an inch. In short, what works for one may not work for another, even if they look identical. And for some of them, nothing is going to work very well.

        As for the clay modeling, I can only guess about her reaction to that. I would appreciate if you would drop by and try suggesting it to her. Just give me a half hour first; I don't want to be in the same county.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.

        Comment


        • #5
          There are a few models on GrabCad. Thingiverse is OK for Yoda heads, but not much else You're much better off importing step files into Fusion 360 than stls.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
            My wife wants a tool to make it easier to get the DVDs out of those cases they come in. Many of the plastic hubs that retain the disks are difficult to unlock and it hurts her arthritic hands to do so


            Any suggestions?
            Hey Paul, I dont have any help right now. But chit you not. You ask me for help from right now on. Anytime, I will do what I can. JR

            Edit: Think automotive trim removal tools.
            Last edited by JRouche; 02-15-2021, 04:07 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              "Pistol grip" can be either be like that on a Colt SAA or a Colt 1911. Since a 1911 grip is pretty straightforward, I'm assuming you are having difficulty with the graceful sweep of the SAA grip. The CAD tool you are looking for is a "loft."

              To use a loft, you need at least three things - the sketch of the shape at each end of the loft and a guide between them. The image below shows simple shapes that begin and end the pistol grip, and a guide between them made of an arc and a straight line. Obviously these can be made as hand-filling and comfortable as needed. The beginning and end profiles can be as complicated as you wish, F360 will blend/stretch them as necessary so they smoothly transition between the profiles along the guide. You can have multiple sketches among the guide if you want things like palm swells, etc.

              Once you have these three items, "loft" between the profiles and specify the curve as the guide, and you end up with the second image, a fairly passable pistol grip.

              I don't have many suggestions for getting the DVDs out of the case. A rounded nub to press on the center hub, if that works, perhaps also a fingernail-sized pry bar to get under the "finger tab" on the outside of the disc to pry it up in case the center hub press doesn't work.


              Click image for larger version  Name:	Loft1.JPG Views:	0 Size:	8.6 KB ID:	1928460

              Click image for larger version  Name:	Loft2.JPG Views:	0 Size:	10.9 KB ID:	1928461
              Last edited by DrMike; 02-15-2021, 08:11 AM.
              SE MI, USA

              Comment


              • #8
                Take a Dremel tool and abrasive disk and cut off those hubs in the cases. I know I struggle with them also.
                Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                  Take a Dremel tool and abrasive disk and cut off those hubs in the cases. I know I struggle with them also.
                  You have to get the dvds out first

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Paul, even if it's just to figure out the shape that works best for her? I suspect there's some deep childhood story related to Plasticene here....

                    I have to admit that those stupid DVD cases have fought my own workings over the years. As mentioned some give up their discs fairly easily. Others act like you're trying to steal their children.

                    Doing a survey of about a dozen cases just now I found that there seems to be four styles. One of the more common styles is a setup that looks like a yin-yang center. A light push on the center releases the disc very nicely. There's another which only showed up once in the dozen with a center button that pulls in the fingers and releases the disc equally nicely. For these no tool is needed as they pop right out very easily

                    Then there's the style that look like that center button style but the center doesn't move and the disc might as well be welded in place. That's one which looks like it might work if you have a conical inside taper to pull the fingers inward and make it so it just fits through the center hole of the disc.

                    And one more that would need a tool but I've got no idea what it should be shaped like. It has a fixed + sign like ridge and four little arrow heads. The arrow heads flex in and down but the + sign ridges prevent me from pushing them far enough to let the disc spring free. Or perhaps it locks again when I ease off. Due to the ridges I'm not sure what sort of tool would be needed.

                    In the end the best tool might well end up being to ditch the cases and put all the discs into some other form of storage. I know that I kept my computer CD and DVD discs in pages that hold four discs and have a stack of those in a 3 ring binder. But frankly the pockets hold the discs as strongly as the darn DVD case hubs. So that's no improvement. I'm wondering if she might be better off simply storing all of them in individual sandwich size zip lock bags?
                    Chilliwack BC, Canada

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I never do these kind of parts because I'm numbers-OC and I struggle to make a model that is numerically satisfying (not just free sketches, not all irrational numbers). If I were to do it, though, I'd start real simple and make a piece of cardboard and then mark it up with a pencil or sharpie with her hand wrapped around it, and just scale dims from the mockup into the cad.

                      I would second the grabcad over thingiverse recco, also. Thingiverse is for Jar Jar Binks models. Grabcad is for models broke college students make in their dorm rooms and are almost always dimensionally inaccurate, but since this is a printed handle for a simple tool, it's OK.

                      However, I'd say instead just go buy some sort of crappy accessory foregrip for a firearm off of amazon. You can get a Chinese m-lok or similar type grip for like $10, and then all you have to do is make the actual pusher implement.
                      -paul

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I mean, at this point you should think about ripping all of your DVD's and storing them digitally, if for no other reason, it's getting harder and harder to find DVD/CD players, it's an obsolete storage medium.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by elf View Post

                          You have to get the dvds out first
                          Duh. Take them out the first time, cut off the locking tabs and reuse. Lot faster that re-inventing the wheel, but that's not the HSM way! This will go on for 10 -15 pages.
                          Last edited by wmgeorge; 02-15-2021, 06:38 PM.
                          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That's interesting. I was aware of the loft feature, but you seem to have a nice way to use it here.

                            As for the actual tool, I was thinking of a kind of conical hole in a cone. First the hole in the DVDs is about 15mm. But I don't think this needs any great degree of precision so something that is 9/16" or even 1/2" should be just fine. In looking at the various case styles, I think you need to press near the center on most of them. But I would want it to be somewhat resistant to slipping around when the pressure is applied so a 1/4" ring of contact may work.

                            I am thinking of making this in two pieces, the handle and the tool itself. And they can either screw together or have a friction fit or perhaps an actual metal screw. That way I could change one or the other and even try different combinations of the grip and the actual tool for the best combo.



                            Originally posted by DrMike View Post
                            "Pistol grip" can be either be like that on a Colt SAA or a Colt 1911. Since a 1911 grip is pretty straightforward, I'm assuming you are having difficulty with the graceful sweep of the SAA grip. The CAD tool you are looking for is a "loft."

                            To use a loft, you need at least three things - the sketch of the shape at each end of the loft and a guide between them. The image below shows simple shapes that begin and end the pistol grip, and a guide between them made of an arc and a straight line. Obviously these can be made as hand-filling and comfortable as needed. The beginning and end profiles can be as complicated as you wish, F360 will blend/stretch them as necessary so they smoothly transition between the profiles along the guide. You can have multiple sketches among the guide if you want things like palm swells, etc.

                            Once you have these three items, "loft" between the profiles and specify the curve as the guide, and you end up with the second image, a fairly passable pistol grip.

                            I don't have many suggestions for getting the DVDs out of the case. A rounded nub to press on the center hub, if that works, perhaps also a fingernail-sized pry bar to get under the "finger tab" on the outside of the disc to pry it up in case the center hub press doesn't work.


                            Click image for larger version Name:	Loft1.JPG Views:	0 Size:	8.6 KB ID:	1928460

                            Click image for larger version Name:	Loft2.JPG Views:	0 Size:	10.9 KB ID:	1928461
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You have no idea how many DVDs my wife has.



                              Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                              Take a Dremel tool and abrasive disk and cut off those hubs in the cases. I know I struggle with them also.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                              You will find that it has discrete steps.

                              Comment

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