Project:  Replace the boring old knob on the shower exhaust fan dial.

Step 1: Find your project

You know what mine is, go find yours.

I slid the old knob off of the wall dial and took some measurements, notes, thoughts, drawings, and now I’m ready to begin.

Step 2: Do some analysis and measurements

In this case, we have to be sure the new knob will fit over the metal shaft and function at least as good as the old one. We have to carefully check our measurements, geometries, and assemblies.

Step 3: Draw it all up

First by hand.

Then use CAD (Try Fusion360).

Step 4: 3D Print it

Go to your local library, makerspace, or just google a 3D printer near you (or not near you, try 3D Hubs).

I decided to model the globe (I used a north pole projection and projected it onto a hemisphere. Then I extruded the countries which have either been visited or are currently being lived in by friends.

Step 5: Enjoy

Take time everyday to be grateful, excited, proud, and happy about your design project.


PS: I decided to use a dime as a metal insert. That way, I would not have to design or print or make another part, and I was guaranteed it would cost 10 cents and have clearly specified dimensions. I think this was a good idea, even though, when assembled, the dial wouldn’t fit over the knob.

Luckily, the new dial knob works anyway (without the insert). It’s super fun to use and look at and friends and guests love it!


PPS: A note for the observant (or slightly confused, I’m not even sure which camp I fall into). Because I placed the north pole projection on the flat side of the hemisphere, then projected it out onto the surface (before extruding the counties of interest), everything came out reversed. These are the cool things that can happen when you make your own stuff. Or maybe it’s just me, I once made a set of microfluidic devices reversed too!

Subscribe to the Kindle Blog!