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We have a toy with some broken parts, an Executivity Gear Master. I don't think it's made anymore. Some tiny parts were easy to break and we'd like to 3d print some replacement parts. We don't have CAD or any other 3D drawings file, just a few of the unbroken parts. What's the best way to get some of these printed? Do I have to turn this into a 3D file first? (Is there a quick way to do that from the part itself?) Or is there a way to do it where I just need the part, rather like getting a spare key cut from a pre-existing key being used as the template?

Here's a photo of the part I need to print. Placed next to a quarter for size comparison:

enter image description here

1 Answer 1

You can't print without a 3D model first. There are various ways you can go about this (or pay someone to do the same for you, ignoring any IP issues).

It is possible to generate a 3D model from a sequence of 2D photographs (there is even software which will allow you to do this freehand on a phone). Equipment exists which is specifically designed for this process, and you have likely heard of the services which allow you to get a 3D print of your own body.

You can take a 2D photo and import this into a 3D drawing package. Copy the features into a mesh, and extrude it. This might be a good approach for a complex shape, particularly if appearance is more important than precision.

For the shape you show here, the simplest approach for anyone with modeling experience is maybe to just draw it from scratch (with a few key dimensions). Your shape is only made up of a handful of primitive shapes.

Experiment in TinkerCad which is an online 3D editor to see if you can handle this yourself. It's not clear if you have your own printer, but this sort of part should cost less than $1 to print.

Strength might be a problem if they are already breaking...