So the shower in our bathroom finally gave way under heavy cleaning by my nearest and dearest. The bracket broke that holds the shower switch and the concealing chrome pipe with the water feed and wiring in it.
We managed to get the thing back up temporarily with glue and luck but it was fairly clear it would fall down again soon. If we were to get the shower replaced it would cost a fair amount with the cost of fitting on top. So we needed a fix… cue 3d printer.
I am a novice when it comes to 3D modelling but I did a couple of years of technical drawing when I was a kid and so once I watched a few video’s on YouTube I realised that the sketch capabilities of Fusion 360 were pretty much the kind of thing I had some level of understanding in.
I took some measurements of the current piece in place so that I could get the basic bracket sketched out. I wanted to make sure I could get the hole size right for the pole and the spacing for the bracket on the wall – I didn’t want to drill extra holes in the tiles!
The first test piece confirmed that the hole sizes right and were positioned correctly. But I then realised that the actual fixing of the bracket would be tricky because the original would have been put on during assembly and I didn’t want to get into plumbing at this point….
I also wanted to get a slightly more ascetic bracket that matched the original much better than the tests so far. So I got the second view of the bracket sketched as above. To solve the issue of being able to fix the bracket up without disassembling the shower I used a feature of Fusion 360 to “cut” and separate the bracket along a line I defined on the sketch
This second test print was quite successful and actually gave me a better temporary fixing for the shower, but it wasn’t quite right and required me to use some plastic to wedge in the chrome pipe. However it held while I improved the design further.
One problem was that the screws holding the bracket caused the plastic to crack, so I added counter sinks for the heads of the screws to mitigate this.
Finally this is in place and works beautifully. But there is still some issue with the two pieces slipping slightly. I am changing the design slightly to add in a key to the two pieces (TBD) and increase the strength of the item. I will also be printing them in silver PLA to fit better with the existing decor.