3D Printing: Replicator Windows Hinges

Close up of a window hinge on a makerbot replicator clone

Today’s Makerbot enhancement is a window hinge from Thingiverse complete with custom cut acrylic windows. You’ll have noticed them in the previous post’s CTC Dual Extruder 3D printer.

CTC Replicator clone with hinges and window

Makerbot Replicator 1 clone by CTC with acrylic window and hinges.

These clips seem to work well even with the under-sizing you’ll get on converting from metric to SAE sizes. What you’re seeing there is the combination of these clips and this acrylic window cut-out.

Since we’re going from Metric to the available parts in the United States (SAE) we’ll have to do some quick conversions and allow for overage. Or re-work the models which for some folks might make a fun and quick challenge. In this case it was more work than we were looking for.

On the hinge side there’s a call for 3mm metal rod. So we didn’t have to alter the original models for the hinges we went with the nearest larger size available at Home Depot, a 1/8th rod. To do that you’ll have to drill out the hinge to re-guage it to the larger size.

Close up of CTC Replicator clone acrylic window hinge.

Close up of CTC Replicator clone acrylic window hinge.

Since 3mm acrylic is equally impossible to find we went with 1/16th acrylic for the windows.  What you’re seeing holding the window in is medium strength double sided foam tape.  It’s a bit loose but seems to hold well enough.

The acrylic windows were cut out on an Epilog laser cutter as seen in the picture. You could also cut and snap them if you’re careful or possible route them with a saw. Just mind that a reciprocating saw may bind up making it dangerous.

One other problem we ran into in creating the windows for the case was a slight design difference between the CTC 3D printer and the Makerbot Replicator on which it’s based.  They appear to have cut the wood panels slightly (as in a fraction of a millimeter) too small resulting in some overlap of the acrylic panels.

Window overlap highlighted in black marker.

Image showing window overlap on the CTC Replicator clone.  It’s the area highlighted in black sharpie.

You can prevent that from being an issue with some careful measuring and reworking the laser cutter image (if laser cutting) or simply cutting it to your exact specifications. In our case we took the panels down to the combination belt and wheel sander and took off the extra material on the flat sanding disc.250

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