3D Printing Breathes life back into aging Treadmill

Author: microplus/Friday, 17 February 2017/Categories: 3D Printing News, UP Mini 3D Printer, 3D Printed Items, 3D Printer Filament

3D Printing Breathes life back into aging Treadmill

We have a York Pacer 3700 Treadmill originally manufactured in 2001. The machine has been faultless since the day we bought it until a couple of weeks ago. Almost at the end of my 60 min walk I heard an unusual noise coming from the front of the treadmill then crash bang. It sounded like the electric motor had disintegrated. Suddenly I am having visions of having to shell out a couple of thousand dollars to buy a new Treadmill. Not impressed. Being me I grabbed my Philips head screwdriver and removed the cover where the horrific noises came from. After hesitating I brought myself to look at the damage.

To my relief I noticed the large fan that keeps the motor cool had broken into 2 clean sections. I immediately thought, this is ok I can draw up a new fan and 3D Print it. Looking closer at the broken parts I decided I could probably repair the existing fan by designing a Spacer Bush to mount on each side of the fan. The design of the fan made this part really simple to repair.

Using my favourite 3D Drawing Software Form Z I designed 2 spacers to fit very tightly into the broken fan. I designed the spacers with a cutaway so I did not have to disassemble the drive belts on the Treadmill.

For this project I used our new UP Mini 2 3D Printer, printing Polymakers PC-Max PolyCarbonate filament (specifically designed for high strength and engineering applications). PC-Max was the best choice due to its high temperature resistance. The area where the fan is situated gets quite hot, and a PLA material would soften and eventually fail. 

With the parts printed my plan was to push one of the spacers on the motor drive shaft, place the 2 broken fan parts on the drive shaft, push the Spacer into the fan to hold the broken parts together while adding epoxy glue. Finally I had to press the other spacer on the drive shaft to press and glue the spacer into the other side of the fan. With the fan now in one piece and solid I moved the fan on to the shaft keyway and glued into place.

After 24 hours I turned it on and I am pleased to say it functioned perfectly. At the time of writing this article the treadmill has now survived 20 hours of use, and I am confident that it will handle hundreds more

Like everyone I hate it when stuff breaks, but these days so many things can be repaired with a 3D Printer and high quality filament like PC-Max. Most people would either try to find a repair person, find a spare part or throw it out and buy a new Treadmill. So when stuff breaks in our house it’s not always a costly drama thanks to 3D Printing.

I hope you enjoy this article. I really enjoy sharing our 3D Printing experiences with you. Especially this one as the repair and 3D Part design was so simple. Anyone could have repaired it with a 3D Printer and basic 3D Design Software. 

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