Wednesday, January 15, 2014

3D Printing: Ceiling Fan Repair

I have three matching ceiling fans in my house, but when I moved in, one of them was missing both the glass light globe and the retaining ring.
Before: ceiling fan without a globe

What the other fans look like.

After wrangling with the manufacturer for years to find out what the actual model number of the fans are so I can purchase replacement parts, I realized that I'd have to either replace the entire ceiling fan or come up with some way of making a suitable cap for the light.

I decided to try to make three clips on my 3D printer to replace the large original retaining ring and purchase a glass dome that looks nice.

We purchased a nice globe at Rebuilding Exchange for $2.50 - it was the right diameter (11 inches) and looked pretty nice.
11 inch globe we purchased

After taking some measurements (and doing a little design iteration), I came up with this design for an easy to print light clip.
The clip
I believe it should fit similar Minka Aire or Hampton Bay ceiling fans purchased from Home Depot. I wish I could tell you the model numbers, but none of the manufacturers I spoke with could figure it out either.

So a $2.50 globe and a little bit of 3D printed plastic saved me from having to tear out a perfectly nice fan and purchase and install a new one (which would have been $250 or more, plus installation).

Final assembly

Final assembly, with light on