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Parts Availability and 3D printing

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  • Parts Availability and 3D printing

    This morning I see that there is a request for the "Roller Holder" part which fits the back of the BT3100 fence. They are apparently not available from ereplacements nor from Ryobi parts. Ryobi doesn't show the part at all as a results of a search.

    It seems that more and more we are finding parts being discontinued for the BT3-series saws. That's rather a shame and though my BT is still working fine, it bothers me that someday in the no-to-distant future I might loose it's utility.

    A year ago, I helped with making some drawings for 3D printing of the SMT slides and atgcpaul came through with a new design. The drawing and 3D print file was made available here on the web for anyone's use. Not sure if anyone ever did so, but the idea was a good one.

    The question is whether there are other parts, like the fence "roller holder' can be made through 3D printing? It's certainly many times larger than the slides, but I still think would be doable. Of course I'm somewhat of a novice to this procedure, but after examining the part on my fence, it looks printable to me.

    What do other members think? Or should we just leave well enough alone and let this fine saw just pass because it's parts eventually fail and aren't replaceable beyond cannibalization?

    The other challenge with this is the Ryobi detail drawing. While with the SMT slide we took the measurements directly from the part, it would be greatly less time consuming if we could get the detail drawing that Ryobi used to manufacture the part. Does any member have a contact within Ryobi to explore that avenue?

    I called Ryobi customer support a few minutes ago and was told that the drawings were probably destroyed. Personally I find that answer somewhat strange, as no manufacturer that I ever had experience with would destroy a drawing, even when the part may have been discontinued. While I do understand the reluctance of making such detail drawings available outside the company, in this case they are no longer manufacturing it, and our purpose would be to simply make a 3-D printable piece for individual use.

    While a drawing can be made by taking measurements from the actual part, I really don't want to disassemble my saw to do so and it would take a number of hours of make the 3D printable drawing. Still might be a worthy cause though should the time be available somewhere in the future. But are there other parts that are worthy of exploring?

    Last edited by cwsmith; 04-20-2017, 12:09 PM.
    Think it Through Before You Do!

  • #2
    I can't imagine that they really did destroy the original parts detail drawings. Probably just the answer they gave to avoid moving it up the chain or explaining why they aren't going to provide them.
    It's like you say though, we could measure and produce our own CAD drawings but it all comes down to how much trouble and effort someone is willing to commit. I just don't have the time to do it right now and I suspect most are in the same boat. In another year I plan to have much more free time and would definitely tackle a dwg for the next piece I need and can't find. I'll bet over time though you will find that people will produce individual various parts and be willing to provide their data files here. Eventually there may be a decent library of the most commonly broken parts.
    Probably not really much of a market for the various parts aside from a few enthusiasts who like the design of the saw. I think there are an awful lot of folks who just use something in that price range until it breaks and then move on to a newer tool. I'll eventually find the part here or on E-bay from one someone is parting out, or I'll just try repairing mine with some epoxy and redrilling/tapping.
    I have a Powermatic PM2000 up at my shop, but I only get there a couple days a week right now and needed something portable for the house while I work on home repairs. I specifically hunted on Craigslist for this saw because I remembered how cool they were back when I played with them years ago at HD. I nearly bought one as a spare over a decade ago at Christmas when they were clearing them out for I think about $200. Just didn't have the room.
    Heck, in another couple years the 3D scanners in the affordable range will probably be accurate enough to just scan and dump straight to the printer... if we're lucky.


    • #3
      Maybe Wayne Hill, of switch replacement fame, for drawings?

      Wayne Hill
      Techtronic Industries North America, Inc.
      Anderson, South Carolina


      • #4
        Originally posted by cwsmith View Post

        I called Ryobi customer support a few minutes ago and was told that the drawings were probably destroyed. Personally I find that answer somewhat strange, as no manufacturer that I ever had experience with would destroy a drawing, even when the part may have been discontinued.
        It's normal to destroy drawings when a product is discontinued and no longer supported. It's primarily a liability concern - without the drawings and manufacturing information, they can no longer make the parts and cannot be forced to make the parts.

        Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night


        • #5
          I suppose. But almost every company I ever did work for as a contract illustrator and writer, kept their drawings for decades. IBM for example, had drawings way back, even if only on microfilm. At my employer in Painted Post (once the world's largest compressor plant), we kept drawings forever, at least back into the early 1900's. Of course we made equipment that costs hundred's of thousands of dollars and often last well beyond 50 or more years.

          One of my last project was the procurement and restoration of an Imperial Type 10 we got from the old fields in Bakersfield, CA. That little compressor was made around 1900 and we still had the drawings to make a few of the components.

          With something as popular as the BT series was and still is, it really seems to be shameful to destroy its history and any possibility of keeping them in good repair. However, I guess Ryobi is more in the business model of making obsolescence brings new customer sales. One of the things I have learned not to like about the brand is that they produce tools on a fairly short-term basis and soon find out they are no longer available, as are their parts.

          Think it Through Before You Do!


          • #6
            I may be able to find some late night time to tackle this. I have a small stable of 3D printers that prints out some parts for the Shark guards now as well as R&D on an automatic tool changer covers for cnc machines. Also two color printed panels for the electronics enclosures on the same CNC mills.
            We don't use the BT in the old shop anymore or very rarely. Once every 6 months for a small project.
            I only use Pet G plastic filaments so far, but they are excellent for looks and strength. I will attempt it this weekend.