#15secondfix: GBA Battery Cover Replacement

The #15secondfix videos on my Instagram are a fun way of documenting quick (or not-so quick) fix situations around the house using 3D printing. Generally, I show a sequence demonstrating a problem, some drawings or models I designed in response, the part being 3D printed, and then a final implementation of the solution. #15secondfix is my way of showcasing the power of design and distributed manufacturing in a bite-sized package.

What do you do when you have a mini-3D printer (loved my old Printrbot Simple), broken stuff, and lots of time on your hands? Well, I'll let the video speak for itself. 

This one is probably the very first #15secondfix I ever posted, which shows how I created a replacement battery cover for my original GameBoy Advance (both the GBA and the printed cover still work great, by the way). You can also find the part on Thingiverse.

This video in particular also showcased the capabilities of my 3D printer for both rapid prototyping and end-use production. Even though the battery cover was a relatively simple part to reverse engineer, I wrestled with properly measuring and dimensioning features to be 3D printed--things like the radii of all of its curved areas, the size of the snap-fits and how well they could be printed via Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), and even how to orient the part while printing such that I could maximize the part's useful life. It definitely did not help that I had no calipers with me at the time, so I made do with a regular 12 inch ruler. Needless to say, the process was iterative, and I concluded with a fully functional part that could be reproduced via 3D printing in about 30 minutes.

More to come!