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Suggestions requested for design drawing approach

neil_prestonneil_preston Member Posts: 9
Hoping that this post is acceptable. Novice user here, so please be gentle....

I want to try to replicate a part that is no longer available on a 3d printer.  It is a latch for a shop vacuum that holds the top down to the cannister.  Originally sold by Harbor Freight item #62266.  They have no parts available.

This is considerably more complex than anything I have tried to date, and I'm not seeing any obvious method of 'blocking' it out to start.
It doesn't have to be quite as detailed as the original, but it must have the pivot points and axle, and latch ledge at the top of the upper piece.

Any suggestions appreciated!


  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,104 PRO
    It's hard to explain everything, but here are a few key things:
    1. Try to identify the key features in the design that need to stay the same: pivot points, latching features, widths of features. As you mentioned it doesn't need to be as detailed.
    2. Try to layout those key elements in schematic sketches on the default planes. Don't worry initially about extruding things, just try to get the relations clear. If you haven't already gone through some of the training stuff, this one might be a good things to review.
    3. Keep in mind that many 3D printing processes will make parts which are weaker than a molded part. All plastics also creep over time, so getting the dimensions and strength of a replacement part correct may be more involved than just duplicating this exactly.
    4. Just because the original was super cheap two piece molded PP+PE, remember you can potentially insert metal dowel pins or bolts etc for pivots or latching features. The two main parts don't need to snap together the way the original did. 
    5. If you're using your own 3D printer (i.e. the cost of iteration is time + filament), focus on getting the basic mechanics sorted first before getting too involved trying to make it look nice.
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member, csevp Posts: 543 PRO
    Get a new shop vac:) ha ha.
  • robert_scott_jr_robert_scott_jr_ Member Posts: 215 ✭✭✭
    Neil, this a truly daunting task. I suspect you and I are of a tendency to fix rather than buy new and add to a wastepile. I have been a user of Onshape for 5 years or so and have both a filament and resin printer. Some of the features of this assembly (as S1mon alluded to) I would not consider robust enough via 3D printing. As far as modeling goes, the hours you would need to recreate this assembly would be great and might require several iterations to get it right. I post this response to perhaps halt you, from frustration, coming to view modeling and creating parts or assemblies a waste of time. Onshape is a great tool. I use it constantly as a homeowner and hobbyist. Using Onshape and 3D printing works; you just have to choose your battles.

    - Scotty
  • edward_petrilloedward_petrillo Member Posts: 77 EDU
    Perhaps you should step back and look at your problem from a different perspective:  your goal is to keep your shop vac closed.  Browse McMaster's extensive selection of latches and see if you can find one that you can attach to the tool in a satisfactory manner.  Reproducing the HF original doesn't look like a good entry point for learning CAD- start with something that will provide a shorter path to success.  Good luck and welcome to  Onshape!
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