In the summer of 2020, the parking brake release handle on my truck snapped off. Specifically, the plastic handle that attaches to the release rod. After some searching, I found that replacements for only the handle do not exist and replacing the entire assemble at a cost of over $100 would be required. I instead decided to see if I could duplicate the original handle and 3D print myself a new one. For less than $20 for a spool of black ABS plastic, I’m quite happy with the results. After 2 years of semi-frequent use, it is still just as functional as it was in 2020.
The design was fairly simple in Fusion 360. I started with making a sketch of the side profile, and with my calipers was able to quickly get the rough dimensions of the original and extrude a body. I then created a second sketch for the portion that attaches to the metal release rod and extruded that.
After this, I exported the drawing out of Fusion to an STL file. I then opened the STL file in the Cura slicer program to send to my 3D printer.
The slicer showed there would be support material required for the round section that slides over the metal rod. After printing, I had to use a 7 mm drill bit to remove this material. For ergonomics, I had to make several iterations of this handle in PLA until I found the right combination of curves that it felt correct in my hand. I then did the final print in ABS due to its ability to withstand the temperatures of a vehicle interior.
After I settled on the proper radii of the curves and had a final print, I adhered the handle to the metal rod with 2 part epoxy. After 2 years of use, there is no sign of the print breaking down or coming detached.