Jan 27, 2015

3D Printing a Custom Fit Tub Drain Stopper

A broken drain stopper in our tub was a perfect opportunity to 3D Model and 3D Print something useful - yes, a new Drain Stopper. It was also the perfect time to use my new digital caliper to measure the drain hole that I was going to try to fit. This, unlike my previous print, was going to be a useful end product if it worked.

The basic model was going to be easy - just a cylinder to fit the drain hole attached to a larger cylinder on the top to hold it in place. But, since this was going to be an attempt to be water tight, I had to come up with a scheme for adding some sort of gasket.

To hold a gasket I made a small cut all the way around in the bottom cylinder about halfway up - just deep enough to hold a gasket - and then added another cut around the circumference right at the top where it met the top larger cylinder (mimicking the original drain stop, which had a rubber gasket at the top).

The result was actually quite good! For a gasket, I first tried to use a rubber band, then one of those "rainbow loom" rubber bands (don't mock me). Those didn't work too well - so I resorted to using this new silicone Maker stuff called Sugru. Finally a real reason to use this awesome stuff... And it was about 98% effectiveness. The water in the tub held with only a very slow leak which was almost impossible to notice for the first couple of hours.

Some Print Project Details

Printer: LulzBot TAZ 4
Filament: Gizmo Dorks PLA, Blue, 2.80mm (measured, although labelled as 3mm of course)
Model:  Tub Stopper on Thingiverse.com
Time to print:  86 Minutes

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