A few weeks ago, during the week of Thanksgiving, we bought a 3D printer for the studio. I have a couple projects I’m working on that I’d like to sell in our store some day that will need parts I can make with a 3D printer (Standalone clay humidor and a data logging pyrometer). What I didn’t realize about this tool was how useful it would be for situations I never considered. As an example I’ll use a recent fix I made to the studio’s clay humidor that I build a few years ago using an Arduino and a ultrasonic humidifier. The humidor used a small 12v fan that I modified to fit in a 1 ½” PVC coupling.
I made an attempt to make this fan waterproof by sealing all openings that didn’t need to turn with silicone caulk. Nevertheless, moisture still got into the bearings and eventually degraded them to the point where the fan’s tiny motor cannot overcome the friction of the rusty bearings without some outside help. Since opening the fan’s “case” and manually spinning it every time I wanted to use the humidor was a huge inconvenience I decided to put our new 3D printer to use. I bought a new 12v fan that was rated to work in high humidity environments and designed a case for it that would interface with the 1 ½” PVC using Tinkercad.
The end result works pretty well! We’ll see how the case will hold up over time. I had to print it using PLA, which probably won’t like the humidity, but hopefully will hold up long enough until I have a chance to redo the print using ABS.