Here’s another part I printed. The original piece was from a toy fire truck. It served as a rotating platform, hinge, and guide for the fire ladder. The toy broke when the part was pushed laterally, shearing the axle off. Overall, I’d say it was a poorly designed piece. The entire toy would have been much sturdier if the axle stuck out from the body of the truck in the form of a low round stub the rotating platform fit around. However, I’m rarely consulted in the engineering of toy fire trucks. :)
As with the window latch, I had taken the measurements and modeled the piece in Google Sketchup several months before ever purchasing my MakerBot. I had to make several small changes to the design of the part to reduce overhangs.
This wasn’t the cleanest piece I’ve printed, but it’s fine for a part that is destined to be broken all over again. If I were printing it again I’d widen the two walls which serve as the hinge to the ladder. The piece I printed had the same kind of unevenness in the tall thin axle that I had on the handle of the Z-axis crank. The part became so blobby that I tried to sand it down to be more even – and accidentally snapped the axle off. Hence, the piece of round chop stick glued into the part. I’m still fiddling with the Skeinforge settings to deal with this issue.
The process was really pretty easy: Measure broken piece -> model in Sketchup -> export to STL file using a plugin -> Skeinforge -> ReplicatorG -> FIRE THE MAKERBOT!