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I recently decided to order a 3 D Printer. I have 2 broken plastic parts in my cabin that I will remake with PLA plastic. Not at all sure if they will hold up, but I can always go for a more exotic filament material later. I used TinkerCAD to create a 3 D model of the part (it's very easy to mirror the part for the other side). I will update this post once I install the parts and find out how well they hold up. I looked on the FD parts manual and they do not show a part number or name for them. I call it Door Lever Guide Plate. My broken part has a P/N A101359. I would be willing to share my 3 D model with anyone who wants to try this.  The front and rear mount holes are fairly critical for fit, they are 200 MM apart in my CT. The middle hole has a floating fastener, so location is not critical for fit. That floating fastener falls into the door cavity if you unscrew the screw completely!!!

 

Door Lever Guide.jpg

Door latch plate.jpg

AdimLab 3D Printer.jpg

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ib,

Please post photos of the finished part and let us know how it holds up after a few cycles.

I'm real interested in how it turns out.

Thanks,

Mike Koerner  

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Both of mine broke in the same place (see picture). I am assembling my 3 D printer today. I just did a 3 D print preview. All seems so daunting right now, ha ha. But, I love challenges. I saw that I can use ABS filament with my printer, so I'll probably order a spool of that next (it is a bit harder to use). PLA is the easiest to use and best all around. 

Yes, I"ll let you know my progress and post pictures . . .

 

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Thanks for posting.  I might make the plate out of aluminum and will run this by Arian at FDUSA if I do.   Is there some way to keep the floating fastener from falling into the door when removing the plate?

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If you make it out of aluminum then the handle lever will wear and it gets more stress when opening and closing and will break. Better to keep the guide a softer material. It is easier to replace. This guide should not break unless the lever is forced too much in the wrong direction. Better to fix the door alignment so the pins slide smoothly. I re-aligned my doors and they both were very smooth and no air gap up on the front door edge.

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12 minutes ago, Tom Baker said:

Rather than 3D printing I thing CNC cut out of appropriate sheet material would work better.

Why?

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I read that I can use carbon fiber filament in my 3D printer. I think that would be hard to beat!!! 

But, yes, machining from a very strong plastic bar stock or sheet would be a good way to go. 

I did this project rather than buy a hobby CNC mill. 

But, the fact that the stock plastic parts are breaking (and mine are also warped), means there is a change needed. I will research the carbon fiber filament and hopefully try that. I'll advise . . .

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I guess the aluminum would cause wear.  The carbon fiber is really abrasive.  It would wear the opening handle faster than the aluminum.  This is why the door pins wear like they do.  You have a good idea to just use plastic.  With your 3D printing, you can just print out another set if/when the old ones need replacement. 

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Pick what you want to be sacrificial in use and what is harder to repair or replace. That should lead you to the plastic use. Most of these door guides broke due to hard closing doors. Fix that and you'll fix the breakage.

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Roger - I need to lube my door latch linkage (annual in process). I figured I would use a greaseless spray lube for the metal to metal joints. But I"m not sure what kind of lube to use on the 3 locking pins that slide in the composite door. I'm picturing a clear grease that I can smear on the pins. But, it needs to be something that will not attack the resin in the composite. I think you already talked about his in an earlier post, I'll go look.

About the plastic parts breaking, on mine, it looks like they broke when people were unlatching the door, moving the lever sideways (too forcefully) and hitting the thinnest section of the plate. But, also mine are distorted where the lever rests on the plate when latched closed. I think my CT sat out in some hot summer days with the doors locked. The sun and heat got to the plastic. 

I wish I knew what the current material is, I think it is Delrin. That is very machinable and I was planning to buy that from McMaster and machine them. 

I just researched the Carbon Fiber filament. The most popular one is made with 70% PLA and 30% Carbon Fiber. Users love it and say the parts are very rigid. 

Anyway Roger, as I said this is just experimenting for now. I wanted to try my hand at 3D modeling (again, used Solid Works for my last company) and at 3D Printing (I love it so far, even though my first 2 prints failed on the first layer, ha ha). 

ET

 

     

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Progress report . . .

I had a couple of false starts printing my first part (after printing the supplied test part I realized my file was behaving normally). It goes thru a dry run of the first layer. Then I ran a part for over an hour and my back bedroom (laboratory, ha ha) circuit breaker tripped (when I turned on an extra light)! So, now (with all LED lights in my lab) it printed completely as shown below. I just realized that the top flange is about .012" thinner than the original part! That is baffling because the hole pattern appears to be very accurate (and has to be). I'll check out my model and add about .020" thickness to that flange (make it a tiny bit thicker than the stock part). 

The part comes out looking like a carbon fiber part, but this is made with "PLA +" filament.  

OK, I'll update when I try a part in my CT.  

 

Left door latch plate 3D printed 2.jpg

Left door latch plate 3D printed.jpg

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It fits!!! No C'sinks yet, just a test fit. Latched and unlatched a couple of times, seems to work fine! 😁

 

 

 

20180622_170213.jpg

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I have always put a dab of silicone paste on the metal handle where it slides and contacts the plastic guide. This helps keep the metal handle from wearing and grinding down the plastic and makes it operate more smoothly with less drag.

Remember the key to usually not breaking these and to stop wind from coming in the front edge of the door is to adjust the door position up at the hinge mounting. The door can be moved. The top of the door where the hinges screw in to the fuselage top plate has a metal strip so the screws / hinges can be moved forward.

if you have a lot of drag on the door pins which make it hard to latch the door the pin holes can be slightly enlarged to reduce the excessive drag which reduces pin and hole wear.

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1 hour ago, Roger Lee said:

I have always put a dab of silicone paste on the metal handle where it slides and contacts the plastic guide. This helps keep the metal handle from wearing and grinding down the plastic and makes it operate more smoothly with less drag.

Remember the key to usually not breaking these and to stop wind from coming in the front edge of the door is to adjust the door position up at the hinge mounting. The door can be moved. The top of the door where the hinges screw in to the fuselage top plate has a metal strip so the screws / hinges can be moved forward.

if you have a lot of drag on the door pins which make it hard to latch the door the pin holes can be slightly enlarged to reduce the excessive drag which reduces pin and hole wear.

Good tip.

Thanks Roger.

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8 hours ago, ibjet said:

It fits!!! No C'sinks yet, just a test fit. Latched and unlatched a couple of times, seems to work fine! 😁

That looks great. Well done!

Thanks for posting those pics.

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Sorry folks this is off subject a bit . . .

Thanks Roger, I will get silicone paste to lube the door handle/plate and the pins. My door is latching pretty easily now that I put on the new hinges. It is centered in the door opening better too. My door weather stripping is old. I may have a problem when I install new weather stripping. I will plan to latch the doors from the outside and leave them latched so the rubber takes a set. I bought the weather stripping "carrier" (extruded, metal reinforced "U" channel). I was planning to buy the "D" ring weather stripping separate. Then I got a part number from Arian at FD for the complete seal with "D" ring weather strip included (from McMaster -Carr). So, not sure what I will do. Question: Have you ever bought just the channel strip and glued on the "D" ring? I will do that if I can find a good glue to attach the 2 strips. Maybe just use contact cement, but I think there is a better specialty glue for that purpose.  

I will let all know how well my 3D printed parts hold up. 

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3 hours ago, Roger Lee said:

I have always put a dab of silicone paste on the metal handle where it slides and contacts the plastic guide. This helps keep the metal handle from wearing and grinding down the plastic and makes it operate more smoothly with less drag.

Remember the key to usually not breaking these and to stop wind from coming in the front edge of the door is to adjust the door position up at the hinge mounting. The door can be moved. The top of the door where the hinges screw in to the fuselage top plate has a metal strip so the screws / hinges can be moved forward.

if you have a lot of drag on the door pins which make it hard to latch the door the pin holes can be slightly enlarged to reduce the excessive drag which reduces pin and hole wear.

I personally wouldn't put silicone paste on the door handle. I have seen what it will do when used in an application where it was not intended to be used. I had to replace the set of control wheels and shafts in my Piper Warrior because of wear on the shaft. There is a replaceable guide where the shaft goes through the instrument panel. It is designed to wear, instead of the plated shaft. Before I got the airplane they had been using a clear silicone paste to lube the control shafts. Once they started using it you couldn't stop, because the controls would get gummy. Anyway it caused the shaft to wear instead of the sacrificial guide.

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Hi Tom,

there is no down side to applying a dab of silicone on the metal door handle in the area that contacts that plastic guide. It won’t hurt a thing. I’ve been doing it on every single CT since 2006 That’s a pretty good track record of no issues. I’ve been lubing the door pins with it to since 2006 with zero issues. Silicone doesn’t belong everywhere, but here isn’t an issue. It keeps from wearing out and breaking other parts which are far more expensive and harder to deal with.

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