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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While reading Tim’s fix for broken latch handles on his Curtis Cab for his John Deere, I was inspired to see what I could make. I watched his progress with interest In posts 37, 43, 51-52, & 58.


I tested Tim’s theory with a steel version and sent it to him for comment and came close. It was close, but he made needed changes to it for it to work as it should and sent it back to me so I could see what needed corrected. I then set out to try making a 3D plastic printed part that replicated the returned steel handle.

I made one that matched the shape of the steel handle I had sent to Tim from a hard plastic. It looked promising and I felt I could include the corrections Tim pointed out. Then the same part was printed from a soft tough rubbery material which would never work, but had other significant possibilities. However, I changed my model and printed it again from the rubbery material and found many interesting things. I could get stiffness from structure. I could create the structure in multiple ways. I’ve sent samples to Tim to try again. Now we’re just waiting for warm weather so Tim can be assured he won’t need his cab for snow duty. Learning about 3D printing, materials, and CAD software capabilities have been much fun. It’s nearing the end, but I have learned a bunch about other ways to solve even more problems that would have otherwise been a lot of work to complete even seemingly simple fixes to part failures. Plus, I’m looking into other ways to make metal parts as well.

Left- The original part; Center - The hard plastic part; Right - The soft plastic part
Font Bumper Automotive tire Rectangle Gas

I’ll post the reconfigured soft plastic parts after Tim gets a chance to evaluate them. Then I’ll know I can proceed with an even better solution. It’s been fun learning, no matter how old I’m getting. 😂
On to something else to keep me busy in retirement.

Much Thanks to Tim @PA318Guy for all his time and help along this path.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, you can 3d print it in metal, but those machines are very expensive. It's probably cheaper to get a 6 axis milling machine...
Interestingly I was looking at an upgraded CNC milling machine for aluminum parts and was impressed, but it’s NOT a $100 tool. It started as a $200 machine and grew into a $600 machine, if it were steel, it would be way more than that and be in the 5 figure range. Not something many people can afford unless they have a business using it to generate revenue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very impressive. It never ceases to amaze me how ingenious some of you guys are.

I don’t know much about 3D printing. But parts of my bicycle are 3D-printed out of titanium. Maybe there is a way you could print these in metal?
Curious as to why you mentioned making it out of metal? I believe in making something that works first, lasts a long time second, is very easy to use third, and is very easy to make! My goal like many on MTF is to make a fix that will outlive me. Granted, that may not be as long as some others might want, but… 😱

Still looking for comments from others with Curtis cabs, especially if you are in Michigan. I’d love to see one in person.
 

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Curious as to why you mentioned making it out of metal? I believe in making something that works first, lasts a long time second, is very easy to use third, and is very easy to make! My goal like many on MTF is to make a fix that will outlive me. Granted, that may not be as long as some others might want, but… 😱

Still looking for comments from others with Curtis cabs, especially if you are in Michigan. I’d love to see one in person.
I guess the metal comment was based on the original latches in plastic maybe being damage-prone? (Although the latches on my Curtis Cab are fine.) Also, since you are 3D printing I just thought the possibility of printing them in metal was intriguing. But probably cost prohibitive.

Remind me, are these latches not available from Deere/Curtis?

PS Here is a dropout on my (dirty) bicycle that was printed out of titanium then welded in place:

Wheel Bicycle tire Automotive tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Crankset
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sometimes only one part of an assembly fails. Manufacturers generally feel there might be a risk of other parts of the assembly failing soon after replacement of the broken part and to avoid customer complaints they opt to replace the whole assembly. It’s certainly the safer path, but certainly more expensive. An example was when I wanted to put dual wheels on my Cyclone Rake. The single wheels were fine, so I asked Cyclone Rake about buying a wheel, a dual wheel yoke, and a dual wheel axle. The agent said it would be cheaper for me to just buy the whole assembly. I know, it baffled me for a bit too. So then I used the left over singles on a front mount dethatcher on the X738. Problem solved. Sometimes we don’t always see that another part in the assembly is broken, damaged, or just worn. Hence the decision by many companies to ship more than we think we need.

Now days shipping also factors into the equation. You can pay for shipping a single small piece and turn around and have another small piece shipped a week later when you could have paid for the second part and shipped it with the first part for about the same cost.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Goodness, I figured this group would have more Curtis cabs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There are quite a few around. @FTWingRiders even has two!

Maybe it’s more a case of the latches don’t break too often? Mine are intact, anyway. Still, I might be interested in a spare set, just in case.
Once I get the design complete and tested, I’ll touch base. I’ve even started working out the rest of the pieces to make a complete latch assembly. Maybe I can use it when and if I make myself a custom hard cab.

Bob
 
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