Tonight I finally got to install the new 3D printed pedals. I work with SketchUp and exported the file to STL. From there I went to 3D Print Hubs
and chose a hub in Connecticut. I went back and forth with the owner of Diversified Manufacturing Tech while I refined the basic design. He suggested the carbon fiber/nylon material named "onyx." I spent considerable time engineering the holes through which the bungee cord and rudder lines would connect, and during attachment I had a friend hold the rudder while I toyed around with the length of the lines, seeking the right amount of tension.
|3D printed ONYX pedals, $20.80 total|
Not only are the pedals great, Andrew even did a follow up. A lot of customer service for $20.80, and he threw in a tablet stylus as a business promo gift. As someone who owns three tablets, I really appreciate that. So, here is his plug: Diversified Manufacturing Technologies website
|My first SketchUp drawing based on the old pedals|
Not knowing the material, I agonized over how many holes I could put into the pedals and still retain stiffness. I definitely could have gone thinner. I definitely could have gone with more holes or etched my name into them. At any rate these pedals will probably outlast me. Fully recycling the older pedals was not much of an option because they are a ply material and warped. The hinges, as you can see, were brought back to life with a few minutes from a Dremel and some 220 and 3000 grit sandpaper. I also hit them with a little silicone marine lubricant. Shiny!
|New Pedals and Rejuvenated Original Carbon Pedals and Stainless Hinges|
|Before: condition of pedals and hardware (the rust had issued from the old non-stainless screws)|
|24 Hour Float Test with Plastic Cable|
|A rusty crimp in the hard loop of the old stainless and cracking, failing tube|
|Slip Knot with a lop and another slip knot - 3x strength|
The UHMWPE is supposed to float. Did I have the real stuff or some kind of knockoff? After a 24 hour test, the material proved not to take on water. It is only supposed to stretch or creep under sustained load, which is not our case. I decided also to go with the stainless quicklinks (1/8", 306 SS) for pedal and rudder tail, since the rounded edge would ensure a longer lifespan for the new cable. Paddling is all about avoiding friction, right? See you on the water!
|Rudder End Connections|