Typically what happens when a plastic case shatters is that it gets thrown away; a tape patch really doesn't cut it. However, if you come down to your local TechShop you can preform a sturdy repair to last through plenty of use until a replacement is found! The "welder" is basically a concentrated heat gun that is used to melt the plastic just enough to join pieces together again. All tools to perform this repair are available through a TechShop membership, specifically this was done at TechShop San Jose.

For this Project you will need:
  1. A plastic Welder
  2. A Dremel Tool w/sanding head
  3. Adjustable crescent wrench
  4. Some sort of plastic filler material (preferably same color as broken plastic)
  5. Gloves
  6. Safety Glasses
One note on filler material: It is preferable to get some sort of stock plastic that you know is safe to use from a distributor. (i.e. TAP plastics). In a pinch however it can be almost anything, just be sure to do this in a well ventilated area. For example, the filler material I used for this repair was a small disposable plastic measuring cup, roughly an oz. or 2 in size. 

Before repairing the box itself, I highly recommend practicing on some scrap plastic to lock in the techniques explained in the next few steps. If you mess up on the box itself it will makes things more difficult in the long run, rather than making it easier.

Step 1: Getting Started

The initial set up is fairly simple.

Included with the plastic welder is the instruction manual, and in that manual it gives a chart of temperatures in accordance with the different nozzle types. Select which nozzle is best for your repair, the included types are featured in the first photo. When you install the head, make sure you tighten it down a quarter turn with the adjustable wrench; I learned after welding a bit that it will shake itself loose over time. On the bottom of the plastic welder you will see the knob that adjusts the temperature needed for welding. For this project I was around level 2-3, adjusting accordingly for when the gun heated up and cooled down. W Before you get started, you need to place the welder in a clear open space away from any other objects. It is key to turn the welder on and let it run for roughly 3-5 minutes to get up to temperature, otherwise it will just be blowing cold air. The welder featured does not need an air compressor so it's a bit more accessible, but takes longer to warm up.

It is important to mention safety here as well. When working with the warmed up welder, it is crucial to wear gloves through this process. At first it may seem safe to do without, seeing how it's not nearly as high temperature as a MIG or TIG welder. However, the temperature needed will be around 300°F so you can easily burn a finger.
<p>I made a tool for welding plastic out of solid copper. Since plastic melts at temps way lower than the temps of copper, it has lasted me many years. this tool fits on to my soldering iron &amp; does just as good a weld as them fancy big money tools.</p><p>Welding plastic is not hard, nor is it rocket science...it just takes practice like any other skill does. For some, it's easy to learn, for others, it takes a wee bit of time...just practice, practice, practice....</p>
<p>It doesn&acute;t look really fused, not as it should be for successful repairing.</p><p>I guess it will not take any adequate stressing.</p>
could this be done by fabbing up nozzels for the heat gun i have already?
I don't see why not as long as the heat gun can get up to temperature. The only thing I would have to say would be to make out it out of a safe material that can handle the heat. Thinking about it, it may even be possible to sculpt something out of aluminum foil.

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