Introduction: Widow Repair DIY - 3D Design & Printing

Picture of Widow Repair DIY - 3D Design & Printing

Hi my name is Jeff and I am a Maker. This Instructable shows the steps I used to design and make a replacement part to repair my bedroom window.

EPILOG CONTEST VII asks what I would do with the laser cutter if I won with my creative solution to a window repair. I currently do not have access to a laser cutter, but i believe the addition of this tool to my shop would be viewed as a hammer. That is, all future projects will see a use for a laser cutter. All my projects already mash traditional craftsmanship with new Maker technology. So winning a laser cutter would expand that creative process further, putting the laser cutter to good use building all that I can imagine ... custom clocks, boxes, tool storage, art work, signs, circuit boards, maker kits, ... . Further, a laser cutter would be invaluable for creating branding as I grow as a Maker.

Step 1: The Story

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My window is the type with the hand crank that swings the window open. A while ago, something broke inside the window and the latch no longer locked the window closed. With cooler fall weather approaching, I took on the task of repairing the window using the Maker equipment available at my community library's Maker Space.

For this project you will need:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Tinkercad account
  • access to a 3D printer and filament
  • metric ruler, pencil & log book
  • screw driver, needle nose pliers & hobby knife

Step 2: Prep Work

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  1. Move away any furniture in front of the window to allow space to safely work.
  2. Remove curtains/blinds. My blinds had a horizontal cover strip that easily unhooked. Once removed, there was a latch on each end that allowed the blind to come off completely.

Pay close attention on how everything was removed so you can replace it all after the repair is complete.

Step 3: Remove the Window Screen

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My screen had 4 pins (2 on each side) that pull out of the window frame and allow the screen to fall away. Place the screen in a safe place where it will not be damaged.

Step 4: Identifying the Problem

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With the screen removed I was able to see the problem. The vertical rail with the pin that latches the window closed was not secured to the frame. The rail is held in place by three plastic brackets (top, middle & bottom), and the bottom bracket had broken.

Remove the bracket screws using a screw driver (philips head in my case) for each bracket so the rail can be removed. Note: I wanted to remove the additional two unbroken brackets and rail so I would have references for my design step.

Step 5: Design Prep

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Before going to CAD I sketch the bracket in a log book and take down key dimensions. This step is important to my process as it helps me think of the individual geometric shapes that make up the final object. It gives me an idea how best to approach the design.

Step 6: Design in CAD

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I love using Tinkercad. It is a free cloud based 3D design environment that is easy to learn and use. it uses a library of geometric shapes that can be moved, rotated, scaled and modified with boolean operations to build up more complex objects.

You first have to create a user name if you are new to Tinkercad, and run through the sites tutorials to get familiar with the software. You can also look at my other Instructables to see how I use Tinkercad.

I included screen shots showing the progression of my design. Also at the end of the Instructable there is a narrated project video describing my 3D design process.

I will attach a link to my 3d model at the end of the Instructable.

Step 7: 3D Print the Replacement Part

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My final design is not exactly like the original piece but it should function mechanically.

  1. Download the stl file from Tinkercad.
  2. import it into your slicing software (I use Maker Ware)
  3. export the g-code
  4. load onto the 3D printer (I use Maker Bot Replicator 2)
  5. print at best quality and 100% infill

Once printing is completed break away the raft and supports using needle nose pliers and hobby knife.

I use the the Maker equipment that is available free at my community library's Maker Space.

Step 8: Testing

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Before installing the brackets and rail test the new 3D printed part. My part snapped into place and slides smoothly along the rail.

If necessary modify you design back in Tinkercad and print the modified piece.

Step 9: Installation

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I opted to instal my 3D printed replacement piece in the centre position of the rail. Originally the broken pice was the bottom bracket location. Install all 3 brackets with a screw driver and the screws you removed at the start.

Test the movement of the rail by moving the latch up and down. If everything works correctly crank the window shut and test that the latch catches the pin to seal the window shut.

Install the screen and window curtains/blinds and replace furniture.

Step 10: Project Links

A Maker Video of this project is available on my YouTube channel (click link) Window Repair DIY Video

You can download my 3D model from Thingiverse (click link) Thingiverse 3D Model . Please download, print and modify my design if you have a window repair of your own.

For more Maker projects please follow me on Instructables.

To see projects currently on my workbench, please check out (click link ) My Blog

And more of my Maker videos can be found on my (click link) My YouTube Channel

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Bio: My name is Jeff and I've been a Maker all my life. I will be posting Instructables of my projects covering woodworking, woodcarving, electronics ... More »
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