The following is the design, build, and application process of my newest project "3D Printed Lawn Mower Handle", Enjoy!
Step 1: Finding a Solution to a Problem...
The key to any good project is finding a solution for a problem that you are having.
In my case, that problem was that my new lawn mower weighs much more than my old mower did. I mow the grass for several of my family members, so in order for me to do this without putting the nasty mower inside my SUV I purchased a hitch basket a year or so ago...I can throw the mower on the back, strap it down and be good to go.
Recently with my increasing yard count, I decided to make it easier on myself and purchase a self-propelled lawn mower. This mower is much heavier and much more difficult for me to lift. My first attempt at lifting it resulted in my hand being cut from the front lip of the deck being too sharp.
After the first back breaking, hand splitting lift I had an idea to fix this problem.
Step 2: Handle Design
For this design I took a very simple and easy approach...
I found this handle design via Thingiverse...I figured there was no reason to "re-invent the wheel" and decided to use someone else's design. It worked very well! The link to download your own copy is below.
Step 3: Print
For this print I began using ABS filament on a low quality setting (0.3 layer height) with 100% infill. I wanted this handle to be strong, but the resolution didn't really matter to me.
Step 4: Failure
During the print, about 30% done my handle began to warp and lift off of the print bed. This caused the print head to hit the piece and completely knock it off the bed.
Step 5: Re-Print Using PLA Filament
After the catastrophe with the ABS filament, I decided to then use a PLA filament which I have always had good results with in the past. This print turned out amazing, and I had zero issues.
Step 6: Test Fit and Drill Holes
At this point, I mocked up where I wanted the handle to be located.
I then took a punch and pre-marked where the drill bit needed to go. Starting with a 1/8" bit and then switching to a step down bit for a cleaner, easier cut.
Step 7: Bolt on Handle, Apply Caulking to Prevent Rust
For this handle I decided to use stainless steel hardware, bolts/nuts/lockwashers, and also I added caulking on the bottom of the handle to help prevent any rust from building up on the metal where I drilled the bolt holes.
Step 8: Finished Product, Problem Solved
After the handle was bolted on, I let the caulk dry for 24 hours.
Once the caulk was dry I immediately tried out the handle by lifting it to put it on my basket. It worked FANTASTIC!
Problem solved. On to the next 3d printed solution!