MakerBot Hero: Car Keys (Part II)

Tracing the key fob

Tracing the key fob

The last post covered my decision to remake/repair my mother’s car key. Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t been fired from this job for not having fixed this problem immediately. In my defense, from the moment I learned of this issue I dropped everything to begin working on it.

A critical step to printing a replacement part is measuring your existing parts to make sure the replacement components will fit well.  I find the easiest way to start doing this is to simply trace the existing parts on a white sheet of paper.  Once this has been completed, I flesh out the “sketch” a little and draw in all of the measurements.

Marking the dimensions of the key fob

Marking the dimensions of the key fob

Once the measurements have been taken down and associated with the relevant areas on the existing parts, I like to create a digital representation of these parts.  Doing so allows me to use those existing components as a basis for developing the replacement parts.  With printing tolerances, a little ooze, and some very minor Z axis wobble I find that 0.5mm – 1.0mm room on all sides is sufficient to develop parts that print and fit together nicely.

Next up:  A first draft

Posts in this series:

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3 Comments so far

  • Mark
    November 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I’m a little confused why you are breaking the posts up like this. Why not just post all the content at once?

  • MakerBlock
    November 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    @Mark: The fake reason is that I wanted to make a trilogy out of it. The real reason is that I was writing up the blog posts as I was in the middle of this repair. I created each blog post to cover a reasonably discrete component of the repair.

  • MakerBot Hero: Car Keys (Part I) - MakerBot Industries
    November 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    […] Next:  Designing the replacement Read: cheap [↩]3D printers has essentially been all I can talk about, or write about for that matter, since hearing about them for the first time in April of 2008. [↩] by MakerBlock | Categories: Tinkering Dad | Tagged: car key, car repair, home repair, key fob, makerbot hero, repair | Enjoyed this article? Subscribe to the full RSS Feed […]


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