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

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