Rapid Prototyping a Replacement Part at Home
I recently fixed my scooter using Google Sketchup, my 3D printer, and a friend’s milling machine. I have a scooter that was having problems with the front brake assembly. Since I use brakes to stop, I decided I should fix it. I took the front brake apart to find a worn out bearing. I’m not entirely sure how this happened, I’m guessing it got a little dirty. I searched everywhere, but couldn’t find a replacement part. The next best thing was to make a bearing that would fit.
I started by measuring the old part and drawing it in Google Sketchup. I then printed a test piece to make sure it would fit. Printing the part only took a few minutes, and I was able to quickly verify my measurements. I don’t have any way to machine a part at home, so making sure I have the part designed to fit could save a bit of time.
After testing the printed part for a good fit, I was able to use a friend’s CNC mill to create a new part in aluminum. The bearing doesn’t normally move, so I’m not sure how the original part was so badly damaged. This time it won’t rust, and it should get me by for at least another 5,000 miles (which is a whole lot for a scooter).
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