Calculator blog

Musings and comments about our common interest


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Calculator repair - spare parts


I have been spending some time in trying to learn 3D printing creating software, in order to create calculator pieces. In Shapeways, there are already several parts for the HP41c and other HP calculators. Look for designer davef, who has designed several parts for our calculator: back port doors, side battery doors, battery covers and other HP71b items. However, these never have exactly the look and feel of the real thing - they could even be considered nicer, but not the real thing.

But there is no need for nice finish for internal parts! So I am looking forward to create a piece that can be used in the innards of the calculators. You need to destroy - or abandon repair - a calculator to repair another, and that’s a quite expensive way of doing it! The price in Europe for defective HP41c is around 75-85 EUR. So any effort to create parts that help keeping in shape our best tools is welcomed - but it sure takes time for someone not used to it!

By the way, this is the Shapeways' HP spare parts site:

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3D Printing link

IMG_2693I have received some questions on where to buy the 3D pieces, and how to specify the particular model, color and other options.

You can access it through this link.

The product was published in the website as an open design - you can freely have it produced for yourself - you only pay to the printer, not to the designer. We need to thank Dave Frederickson for publishing it for us all!

Thecalculatorstore.Com has no affiliation whatsoever with the company. In fact, while the product is well designed and fit for purpose, we don’t think it matches the requirement of our customers and therefore we will not put it in our products as a replacement of original parts.

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3D Printing - not good enough!

I have been checking the printed ports that I received this week. Conclusion? If you’re a private user, you can have them - but none of my customers would accept a calculator with one of such ports. I might use these ports for a calculator I’ll give to my son; but even in that case, I would try a more funny color scheme - like yellow. But I don’t plan to use it on my every day calculator

But let’s see the examples in pictures.


It is sturdier than the original model, but not heavier. The level of detail is lower, but this was the way it was created. The color is much blacker, and the fact that the surface is matte makes it much blacker.


Fit in the machine is excellent - if anything better than the original model. It is also more difficult to take it out of the machine - no more accidental fall offs as it happened to me once.


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3D printing - examples

I am now traveling through Northern Europe, but I have been told that we have received at home the 3D printed pieces for the HP41C. It is the side cover, and the 4 port covers. I have been told that the quality is excellent - let’s see it tomorrow.

I have ordered the standard textured black color. Here you can see a picture.


However, all kind of colors and textures are available. You can see here a curious yellow finish in this page, and here you have the white option too!:


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