Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A Same-day Repair
Here's a true story just like the 3D printing hype I see in magazines and newspapers.
This morning the Snooze button didn't work on my twenty-year-old Westclox 22651. It wouldn't move, it didn't click, it didn't do anything. I tried to buy a new clock, but my local store didn't have any suitable replacements.
Could I fix it myself? I disassembled the clock and found the cause of the problem: the snooze button was supposed to click against a membrane switch, but the plastic pin had broken off so the button was non-functional.
Hey! That would be easy to fix by building a little spacer to replace the pin. I brought out the calipers and took measurements: the rib is 2mm wide and 3mm high, the cavity is 5.8mm wide, and the required distance from the top of the rib to the membrane switch is 4mm. Easy.
Too easy, in fact. In less than an hour I had designed a new part on the computer, built it, and installed it in the clock.
It worked perfectly, without requiring any adjustments...nor even glue! The spacer fits neatly between the button and the circuit board, held in alignment by the rib on the underside of the button.
If you've got a similar clock that needs repair, just download the model from Thingiverse.
Funny, I didn't even lose any sleep over it.