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3D trigger for the 3 quart kettle is now available from Shapeways

Since our successful test of the 3D printed trigger using the “Black Professional Plastic” material (it didn’t soften during use on the stove) we have made it available for anyone to purchase on Shapways.

You can click on the buy now button above to order one.  These have not been extensively tested, so if you purchase one, you will be beta testing them for us.  Please let us know if you have any issues with the fit or the material.

This is the kettle that it is made to fit, the model 3501-C on the left.

The one on the right is the more common 2 1/3 quart model, for which we already sell a cap + trigger set. Some people call the capacity of this kettle 3 1/2 quarts, but it is listed as only 3 quart.  Note the distinctive shape of the handle versus the other kettle.

Note that these triggers are being sold on Shapeways with no markup.  As more people order them, the price should go down.


Another attempt at 3D printing parts (it worked this time)

Since our original attempt at 3D printing a trigger for the 3 quart kettle failed, we’ve been looking for the availability of a better material that might withstand the stove top heat.

In the original attempt, we used a material called Z-Glass.  The properties of that material claimed a melting point of 437 F and a deflection temperature (where materials will start to bend) of 392 F.  Since both of these were above the rated temperature of Bakelite of 350 F, we thought it might work.  But it didn’t.  After sitting on the stove for some time, the material got soft enough that when we tried to use the trigger, the end bent out of shape and stayed that way.  Here is the original printed part and what it looked like after out attempt.

We tried again with an online 3D printing service called Shapeways.  The material that seemed most appropriate is called Professional Plastic, and claims to be “heatproof” to 350 F.

Here is the new part compared with the Bakelite original.

As you would expect from 3D printing, the texture is much rougher than the original smooth finish.  But the fit was good and it installed easily.

We tried this out on our 3 quart kettle by bringing it up to a whistle with a high a heat as our stove could give it without the flames licking up the sides.

As far as we can tell, the part seems to work.  At whistling temperature, we were able to repeatedly pull the trigger without any noticeable deflection.

The downside is the cost.

However, when we went to reorder the part, the price was much cheaper, so the above price must have included one-time startup costs.

To make it easy to order these parts directly from Shapeways, we will be opening a shop there with this, and likely other designs of hard-to-find parts that don’t have enough volume to be made the traditional way.  Stay tuned!



3D printing a new tea kettle trigger

We’ve completed our first 3D printable design – a trigger for the larger 3 1/2 (or so) quart Revere Ware tea kettle.


Here are the old and new trigger side-by-side:


We gave the new trigger a more curved end as we felt that the original allowed the finger to slip off too easily.

The only material available for our printer that matches or exceeds the temperature resistance of Bakelite is called Z-GLASS and is semi-transparent.  While the trigger won’t win any beauty contests (it is a bit of a rough finish due to the nature of 3D printing) it is quite functional.

Here it is on a kettle:


If you have a 3D printer that can print to a material that has a deformation / deflection / softening temperature (the point at which it will irreparably bend) greater than 350 degrees F, you can print these yourself.  Here are the Solidworks and STL files.

If you would like to get one of these triggers, please contact us.

Update: Unfortunately, despite the temperature rating of the material we used, the trigger started softening up pretty quickly when we tried it out on the stove.  We are still looking for a material that can be 3D printed and will withstand the temperature.