Fixing a bathtub with a 3d printer

Hey y’all, Evan here! *gasp* yes I know I haven’t posted in forever, I’ll try to be better! I’ve actually started my own freelance product design and engineering consulting company at eksdesigns.com, which has been keeping me very busy, but hopefully this will also lead to some more crossover posts.  As you might have seen in “office saga continues“, I’ve setup a home office that is very much still in progress but I’ll get working on an update posts with lots of fun things in it such as a custom standing desk, new shelves, and other storage solutions.

For now I thought I would dip my toe back into blogging with how my 3d printer totally saved us. Now to add a qualifying remark here: 3d printing is awesome and you should totally get a printer but it really is only useful if you have 3d modeling skills or are up for learning the programs you need to make 3d printed parts.

For ours I went with a fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3d printer (there are so many types out there but most consumer ones use are FFF) from Lulzbot called the TAZ.

lulzbot-taz So to get into the problem, the hot water handle on our bath tub broke… Not an easy to replace part either. It was the stem coming from the valve that broke in half. No good way to get a good picture of it so I found this illustration online that will help:

Two-handle_faucets  (source unfortunately unknown and unattributed)

Now to replace the stem I would have to replace the valve itself, which was underneath the frame of the bathtub and completely inaccessible without tearing up our slate tiles (not at all an appealing idea). I noticed however that the stem that broke off was actually threaded! Using my nut and bolt thread checker (must have tool in my opinion, so good) I found out that the threads were M6-1.0.

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This lead to the temporary solution below of a bolt and hex key as a make shift handle:

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Not at all pretty but it got me thinking of printing an adapter between the bolt and the handle… Using my calipers I measured the broken off stem and modeled it in Solidworks (but plenty of other cheaper/free 3d modeling software out there).

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simple-adapter 61yJDhVX39L._SL1000_

To strengthen the print I added a hex key down the shaft and then glued it together with cyanoacrylate (typical “super glue”) with a kicker. Now I really never understood how great super glue could be until I used it with the kicker/accelerant/insta-cure. Usually you have to find a way to hold two objects in compression for 10 minutes, then 24 hours for full cure. Most of what I’ve tried gluing together are not easy to hold without movement while maintaining compression. This kicker allows for setting in just seconds though. You can put super glue on one side and the kicker on the other or just spray the kicker on top and BOOM you got a good solid connection. I also didn’t know recently that there was a super glue debonder. Great for when you glue your fingers together and don’t want to rip the skin. Or you know, to debond your actual parts. It stinks and is super strong, but works well! Anywho, back to the project…

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Using this little guy allowed me to connect to the original handle!

ezgif-1363390562 Success!!!

ezgif-2331949995 I know this post may be a little technical and not applicable to those without 3d printers but I wanted to share a nice little successful project with y’all. Let me know what you think about these types of posts!

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Bedroom art + how to mockup a gallery wall

After having our flooring installed in the bedrooms, I’ve been feeling inspired to spruce up those rooms even more. It’s like when you get a new haircut and you feel inspired to buy a new top too. Or when you have a few bites of chips and salsa and you’re inspired to finish a whole basket.

Our master bedroom has always been a room that’s looked pretty good, but didn’t have enough stuff going on. And by stuff, I mean art. For all the art we have in our house, we only had two pieces in there – not nearly enough!

IMG_7103 copy Which is why we really only ever show this side of the room. It’s pretty finished looking. But the other side of our space has always looked like this.

bedroom art blank small Womp womp. Lotsa black between the dressers and TV and not much else (although I do like our vases from Tarjay and basket from West Elm!)

With all the extra art in our house, there was really no excuse to not put some on that wall. Plus, I’ve never placed art in a space with a sloped ceiling – new challenge!

The way I like to approach gallery walls is how any designer with a Photoshop addiction would: I ‘shop it up before actually doing anything. So I took the above photo of our wall and then took photos of art around the house that I thought could look nice together. Cut out art, paste onto wall, and boom- art gallery mockup (see below).

bedroom art mockup Of course, not everyone has access to Photoshop. But there are other ways to do this folks. One easy method is to use PowerPoint – insert the blank wall photo into a slide, then insert the art photos on top of it. Use the crop tool to crop the art photos in so that no background is showing behind the art. Arrange around wall and marvel at your work.

You could even print out your photos at home and literally cut out the art photos and rearrange them in printed form. You might have to play around with how big you print each art piece so that it is properly sized in relation to the other pieces, but it could work!

Once we had the digital mockup in place, we got out our laser level (Evan has this cool self-leveling one) and started placing things. It was great to be confident in our placement and arrangement of different pieces. Also, Mochi loves laser levels. WAY more than laser pointers.

File_003 Piece by piece we added more art, using the mockup as a guide.

File_0010 A quick tip – if you’re ever hammering a nail into the wall and it goes in too far, use something thin and flat, like this tiny spatula we had, to protect the wall when you’re pulling the nail out.

File_0030 This was a super quick gallery wall – and it adds a ton of life into the room!

IMG_8092 It may seem like a simple change but I think it makes a huge visual difference!

ba After realizing when we did this wall that we had never shared a full view of our room, we snapped some cool fish eye photos with the Go-Pro!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0769.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0772. Well there you have it! A few ways to mockup a gallery wall before you make it, and some new art now adding color to our master bedroom.

Floor like, ever

Y’all. We did it. We are finally getting rid of our carpet once and for all!! Happy dance!!!!!

Those who have been reading our blog since its infancy will remember that swapping out our nasty old carpet and cracked white tile for beautiful, high quality laminate wood flooring was one of the first projects we ever did at the house. And by we, I mean a team of professionals we hired. We need to make a few more sacrifices to the DIY gods before we have the balls to tackle something that big. Which is why this time around, we hired the same guys again to install the same flooring in our bedrooms!

bedroom carpet tryptic We made this decision just in time too- when we called to set things up, we found out our flooring is actually being discontinued!

But before we could get anything installed, we had to remove alllll the furniture from our bedrooms. And our bedroom closets (anything on the floor at least). So our house has been looking a little ragged.

File_000 IMG_7894 combo copy Meanwhile, we realized how sad our bedrooms look with everything removed.

bedroom carpet tryptic empty But honestly, it’s been fun camping in the living room so we aren’t complaining :)

File_000 (2) And it’s been even more fun to see the floors making their way little by little throughout our bedrooms!

bedroom carpet tryptic progress We also had some water damage by our back door after the Houston floods this year. It caused our floors to swell so much that we could barely open the door. So we got a few boards back there replaced too.

File_002 (1) The whole project just took two days- which is massively impressive to me after seeing all the work that goes into it. We are so glad we bit the bullet and got the floors we wanted!

Having the same flooring flow from the hallway into each bedroom makes everything feel more seamless and open. Which is especially important when you have a relatively tiny hallway and relatively tiny second bedrooms. Speaking of which, here’s how they looked once the floors were done!

IMG_7910 IMG_7912 IMG_7911 We are so excited to move our stuff back in and maybe even rearrange the layout of furniture in the rooms. Evans office especially is going to (hopefully) look a little different once we add everything back in.