There is a screwtop cap missing from the tank part of a carpet washer and it cannot be replaced by manufacturer as we've contacted them. Is there a way for this tiny plastic part to be 3D printed or copied/made somehow?
How would I go about getting hold of 3D printers in Scotland who might be able to help? I'd be looking to get a cast of a screwtop aperture and print a cap off.
If you can measure these at least half decent I am almost confident someone already created a suitable model.
Another alternative people often forget is a simple plug
Be is old school and made from cork or modern in the form of silicone or polyurethane.
Makes no real difference to the tank if there is a cap on the outside or a plug on the inside of the hole
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
Tinkerer by heart, archer by choice and electronics engineer by trade.
You say you contacted the manufacturer, but did you ask the person you contacted for a more complete specification for the cap, or a file that could be used to 3D print the cap?
It might be the case that person would NOT be able to point the way to this information. You know, some people get hired to do nothing but apologize. People especially skilled in this art, get hired to manage press conferences.
Regarding the plastic cap you seek... I spend a lot of hours dumpster diving, and in particular, one set of dumpsters I visit regularly, belongs to my town's public recycling program.
In particular, I am thinking of the bins intended for waste plastic containers, and what I can tell you is: plastic screwtop caps come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
I have tried to collect at least one of each, because often there are lucky coincidences in the sizes of these caps, and the caps used for other things.
For example, it might just so happen, the tiny cap to some mass-produced plastic bottle, e.g. vanilla extract, or airplane-style liquor bottles, might be the same size cap you seek.
Or it might not.
Regarding free, open collections of files of 3D printable things... I know there is thingiverse.
I dunno. You might try searching that collection for "cap", "screwtop cap", "threaded fitting", and see what you can find there.
Did I mention ugly solutions? Like, uh maybe a folded up plastic bag, secured with a rubber band. I mean, there are probably solutions like that, which are not as good as a replacement cap, but maybe functional enough to keep liquid from sloshing out.
The modern equivalent of a "phonebook" seems to be a "map search"; i.e. asking your favorite search engine for
"[some business] near me"
e.g. "auto parts near me" or "chinese food near me"
Perhaps that means asking Google Maps to show you,
"3D printing near me"
The trouble is, 3D printing is a kind of a new art (at the time of this writing), and maybe not yet as common as car parts stores, or Chinese restaurants.
Or maybe you could try looking for a list of hackerspaces or makerspaces; e.g. the list maintained by hackerspaces.org.
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