Repairing vintage computer case using a 3D pen

I recently bought a 3D pen at Amazon for 30 quid, just to see what can actually be done with it. You can think of a 3D pen as been a “hand 3D printer device”. It really allows you to do some crazy stuff.

The one I bought came with ABS and PLA filaments (same ones used on 3D printers). I played a bit with it, but didn’t go too far. Then, a Powerbook 2400c I recently acquired at eBay arrived. Seller said it was in good condition, and he wasn’t lying. It looked amazing and – almost – everything was working. I realised the trackpad click button wasn’t working. But that was it. See the beauty below.

So, I decided to open it up to take a closer look and see if it could be repaired. During the process, I noticed that a plastic support was broken on the inside. And it was a bit that should be secured by a screw, so I thought on fixing it. I tried in the past a few methods, none of which with great success. I tried creating some plastic cement using acetone, using superglue and sodium bicarbonate, and even plastic welding. None was strong enough to hold a screw in place.

Then, it hit me… what if I tried using the recently acquired 3D pen with the ABS filament? So, I tried. And it worked! See pictures below. The plastic bonding is really strong, and it held very well.

I used a small plastic with a picture of the broken support, so I could “draw” on top of it, in the right place.
This is the repair, yet without finishing. It doesn’t look good, but it will look better after some sanding and cutting
This is the 3D pen used.
This is after the sanding. It looks much thinner and smoother now. Bonding is very strong.
This is the part already fit into the notebook. As it can be seen, it fit snugly into place.

So, there you have it… another use for 3D pens 🙂

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