One Printer Fixes Another

September 16, 2013

3d print Dymo label maker opened up with replacement lever partially installed Work recently had a cleanout day to get rid of clutter in our office area; a late spring-clean, if you will. I’m always on the hunt for working (or not in this case) gadgets for spares or to re-purpose. I came across a Dymo 210D label maker. The electronics function just fine and there were quite a few extra unused cartridges as well. The only problem was that I kept getting a tape jam error when trying to print. After reading through Dymo’s troubleshooting literature, which had little value in this case, I disassembled the unit and found the culprit: a small section of a lever arm (for lack of a better term here) broke where a spring should be connected. Sounds suspect to me!

Excited that I just acquired a new 3d printer, a Solidoodle Gen 2 with the heated bed (a must for ABS prints), I decided to use my new wonder-machine for fix this printer.

After the part was completed, I compared it with the original. By doing no tuning or adjustments on the 3d printer, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Of course, I had to print rafts to support the small overhang, so there are some squirrely print layers at that location and the inner holes came out about .020″ undersize, but overall, I’m happy! I just had one issue: I modeled the part wrong. As an engineer, it’s always important to validate your assumptions and double and triple check everything. Here’s a good example of what happens when you don’t.

Original Image showing the original part and the prints

Clean Up Drill bits were used to clean up the internal thru holes

After the quick fix and another 10 minute print, I was in business. I used some drill bits to clean up the internal holes and installed the part.

Working Unit The working unit!

I assembled the unit and voila! My new printer fixed an old one. It was a great experience with: fixing something, using a 3d printer, applying engineering to home use and learning how simple label makers are.

My daily inspiration from fixing and repairing is hanging on my cubicle wall at work: Sugru’s Fixer’s Manifesto seen below.

Fixer Manifesto The Fixer’s Manifesto by Sugru