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3D printer uses, Part II

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  • 3D printer uses, Part II

    Last month epicfail48 asked about uses of a 3D printer. Today I used my 3D printer to fix my toilet seat.

    I bought a cheap wood toilet seat from Lowes many years ago. Over the years the cheap zinc-alloy hinges have slowly corroded, and yesterday the arms holding the seat onto the porcelain broke. The seat is fine ... the lid works perfectly still... but the bolts that hold the seat located on the porcelain are gone... so the seat assembly slides around. This is not good.

    Well, MOST people would simply go back to town and buy another $20 - $40 toilet seat.

    I thought about it for a while and realized that the only feature currently missing is that the seat is no longer held "co-axially" with the bowl. So, a number of small locating pins on the bottom of the seat would provide that function. The pins would not have to bear any weight... just prevent side to side movement.

    So, I fired up Fusion 360 and had a design in less than an hour. The printer took 2 1/2 hours to print 6 of them. I used some double sticky tape to hold the locators onto the bottom of the seat to test it, and the idea works very well. The double sticky tape works so well I don't even have to put in the #8 wood screws to hold the clips in place.

    An accountant will tell me that I was dumb. I spent 4+ hours total fixing something that costs $20 to $40. If I had to charge by the hour and account for the PETG printing plastic and double sticky tape then I barely made minimum wage. But I had fun.

    Here is the Fusion 360 design for the locating device. I am not going to photograph my toilet or toilet seat.


    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    A $40 toilet seat used over 20 years... $2 per year? But I do find with a 3D Printer now everything looks to be a 3 D Printer Job!! Prusa MK3S better almost than the Makergear M2 I like a fool sold. Nice drawing BTW.

    Here is one example. My camping trailer came with no sink in bathroom. I purchased a RV corner sink and mounted in the shower area but needed a shelf for the soap holder. Drew it up in Fusion 360 and printed out on my Prusa MKS and PETG for filament.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	image_17607.jpg Views:	5 Size:	23.1 KB ID:	1950189
    Last edited by wmgeorge; 07-05-2021, 04:24 PM.
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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    • #3
      Nicely done, Dan. I have many, many such 3D repairs around my house.

      Not everything has to be cost-effective to be personally satisfying.
      SE MI, USA

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      • #4
        Nah, youre confusing me with Loose Nut. He asked about the uses, i was just one of the more frequent commenters in that thread

        3d printers are great for weird stuff though. My most recent project with my printer was to modify a hydraulic handbrake. Needed one for my sim racing rig, got an ebay special one. Its meant for the brake lever to be vertical, i wanted it horizontal. Took a few iterations to get the angle of the new arm just right, but thats the great part about 3d printing, the cost of all the failures was about $0.30, so making multiple interations with incremental changes doesnt really hurt the same was as if i made the arms traditionally. Didnt even take much work on my part, just altering parameters in the model

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        • #5
          I'm still waiting for my printer to show up, it is literally on a slow boat from China.
          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

          Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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          • #6
            Originally posted by loose nut View Post
            I'm still waiting for my printer to show up, it is literally on a slow boat from China.
            Better hope they didn't need to print the boat first, with a printer like the one you ordered.

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            • #7
              Let the bells ring out and the banners fly..........it has arrived.
              I received a notice today that it had cleared customs and would arrive on the first of Aug. and a second notice that it was ready for pickup at the Post Office. Not to bad since I only ordered it on June 15.

              All I have to do is to figure out the assembly and how to use it, easy peasy sort of, well maybe not.

              P,S, I needed a table or something else to put it on and everything I found was more expensive then the printer itself so today I went shopping and found a sturdy desk, that just happens to match my computer desk, which will be next to it, for $70 CDN. Some days thing don't actually go for a crap.
              The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

              Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

              Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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              • #8
                Assembly was easy, especially for a person who has machining as a hobby. Some common errors that I see on the forums is failure to assemble the frame squarely, failure to make sure the X axis rail is parallel to the printer bed, failure to properly level the printer bed before the print, etc...

                Using it ... well, it was a learning curve. It doesn't help that different brands of filament require slightly different temperatures, speeds, etc. I'd suggest you stick with one brand of filament until you get comfortable with the process. My first print was good. Then I had 50:50 failures: success for a few weeks. Now I generally succeed, and if it's going to fail it happens early... So once I get .250 of print built up I feel fairly confident that it will go all the way (if there isn't a power glitch, run out of filament, cat incursion, filament jam on the spool...)

                I love it.

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                • #9
                  I have just started playing with lost PLA casting. Only tried Al so far but great results. If you can print it it can be Al.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                    Let the bells ring out and the banners fly.........[COLOR=#e74c3c]it has arrived. [/COLOR
                    I received a notice today that it had cleared customs and would arrive on the first of Aug. and a second notice that it was ready for pickup at the Post Office. Not to bad since I only ordered it on June 15.

                    All I have to do is to figure out the assembly and how to use it, easy peasy sort of, well maybe not.

                    P,S, I needed a table or something else to put it on and everything I found was more expensive then the printer itself so today I went shopping and found a sturdy desk, that just happens to match my computer desk, which will be next to it, for $70 CDN.
                    Better start making plans for that enclosure. Not to mention the filament drier and airtight case.

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                    • #11
                      My Prusa has power failure recovery, filament detection and all the bells and whistles. A lot easier to start with a fool proof design that works. I printed right out of the box, so to speak. Never ever used an enclosure even with my older Makergear M2. Print with PETG almost exclusively, once and a while PLA. Ziplock bags for storage, and only had to dry filament once.
                      Last edited by wmgeorge; 07-08-2021, 06:58 PM.
                      Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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                      • #12
                        Is it not possible to print in metals?
                        The current literature tells me that tool steels, copper, copper/nickel alloys, stainless and aluminum alloys may be 3D printed accurately to near net size.

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                        • #13
                          Not yet in the home gamer sub $300 market. Industrial uses, yes, yes they can.

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                          • #14
                            I have a Wanhao PowerSpec printer sitting in my office and it worked great until it suddenly stopped printing. It heats up the bed and nozzle and then stops. The heat goes off and it doesn’t print. The leveling routine works and you can jog no problem. Tried some old files that printed perfectly and they do the same thing. Removed the heated bed and control board looking for loose, bad, over heated connections and everything is pristine. So I am stuck.

                            However I don’t miss it much as I have the CNC mill and a foundry setup and lost foam process gives me very nice cast aluminum parts in less time than printing them in plastic.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bented View Post
                              Is it not possible to print in metals?
                              The current literature tells me that tool steels, copper, copper/nickel alloys, stainless and aluminum alloys may be 3D printed accurately to near net size.
                              Check out Direct Metal Laser Sintering and Selective Laser Sintering. There are some small ones for consumer use - around $10k. Now *that* would be a windfall (other thread).

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