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How to make a 3d Printed Cordless Drill Battery Adapter

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One Sunday, as I was perusing the local trash and treasure market, I came across a box of old cordless tools.

The guy mentioned the batteries "didn't hold much of a charge", an understatement if there ever was one as they were absolutely ratted.  It didn't worry me much as I figured I had 3 motors to have a bit of fun with.

But then I thought, why not try and see if I can plug the batteries from my good drill into these tools.

Just to put the cart before the horse a bit here, you can see my files at Thingiverse!

Without further ado, here's how I used a 3d printer to up-cycle some old tools and with a bit of work, you can too.
 
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Step 1: How to make a 3d Printed Cordless Drill Battery Adapter

Start by dismantling your dead battery

You're going to need a detailed model of your dead batteries, and an idea of how it all goes together.

Mine was held together with a few long screws so it was a simple matter of removing them then breaking a few solder joints.  Batteries are dangerous so this step shouldn't be attempted lightly.

I really can't stress this enough.  Be VERY careful.

Step 3: How to make a 3d Printed Cordless Drill Battery Adapter

Now do the same thing for your good battery.  The dead battery provided a model of the tool interface and now we need to model the interface on the good battery so we have the right mounting on our adaptor.

You probably won't need to dismantle your good equipment.  It's certainly something to be avoided.

In my case, I grabbed my good drill and used the Vernier again to make a model of the docking bit on the bottom of the handle.
aideym2 years ago
Slaps head and proclaims "Why didn't I think if this?"
Excellent Idea. This would actually be cheaper than rebuilding a dud or replacing with a new one
_mage_ (author)  aideym2 years ago
I forgot to mention! I looked at getting replacement batteries and they were going to cost $150 each.

Bit rich putting $150 worth of batteries into tools that only cost me $10
Is that the cost of getting a new battery or replacing the cells?
_mage_ (author)  rouge.renard2 years ago
That was the cost of replacing the cells. I'll admit I didn't do much price searching though.
You're supposed to exclaim "1.21 Jiggawatts!" after you slap your forehead.
what the hell is a jiggawatt?
a jiggawatt is just under the amount of power needed to travel through time, in a DeLorean DMC-12.
though technically, it is a GIGAwatt, but doc brown spent more time on math and science than english lit, and mispronounced it a bit.
Thanks for the assist ironsmiter..."how could I have been so careless?". Must have been the bump on the forehead from slipping and hitting the toilet seat.

Michael_oz2 years ago
Nicely done.

You should add the other 3D models to thingiverse, ie the old battery, and include the source. That is similar to many brand of battery and could be a starting place for others to adapt other brands.
_mage_ (author)  Michael_oz2 years ago
Thanks Michael

I've updated my thingiverse models to fit a little better and I've included my sketchup file there and here on Instructables.
I'm looking for this guide for a couple of times in the internet and I'm glad that this came up with results in Google when I type the keyword. Though, this maybe not enough but this help. The reason why I'm searching for this type of information is that I want to build "how to" blog about cordless drill as well as cordless drill review.
_mage_ (author) 2 years ago
I've just realised I've forgotten to put the step about wiring in!

I'm in the process of building a second adapter so I'll amend this instructable when I've got that dismantled.
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