After purchasing my new Subaru Impreza I was like probably everyone who ever purchased a new car. . . don't park within 50 feet of ANYTHING, vacuum daily, wash weekly, no leaning on the car, defiantly no food in the car. It has been a few years and most of that has changed, but the first thing to break on my car, still haunts me. It wasn't something major and the car still works fine, but the gas cap tether just hangs there now, limp and broken. Plus I have to be careful not to scratch the car with the broken tether.
I looked into fixing it and found that Subaru didn’t sell just the tether for the gas cap, you have to buy a whole new gas cap! Not that I am against spending another $24.95 on my car, but all I really wanted was the $2.00 tether. I didn’t need one bad enough to buy a new gas cap and have ended up just living with it.
I have, like so many other Subaru owners, just left the broken piece on my precious car for far too long. But not any more! As the powers of 3D printing unite I now have a new gas cap tether. My car is whole again and I can go back to the OCD of shiny car syndrome all over again.
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I am one of the lucky few that have access to a 3D printer. Not my own, but my husband's. And if I ask really nicely he even lets me use it. Lets get this straight, I am not technology stupid, but some days my Google-foo is stronger than other days. And since to-date I have "broke" more electronic equipment than he has, I don't actually get to touch the printer. Watch, set up, work with him, that I can do, but touch - NO.
If you don't own a 3D printer, there are some local hot spots (Makerspace) that will let you use them for a small fee, usually inside their own facility. This print took all of about 35 minutes, so you don't always need to rent the printer for a week to finish the smallest of processes. If you are renting one, I recommend the following:
1. Finding out in advance what format your file needs to be in.
2. The bed size and print size. This will make a big difference. The tail of the tether I made was 21-1/2 cm, (about 8-1/2 in) and the ring is 77mm (about 3 in). Since the bed on our printer is 9", we had to curve the tether. This was done in the design process. More on that later.
3. What material you can print. We printed in TPU (flexible filament) but there are so many options.