iPad keyboard 3D printed holder replacement

We’ve had two of these iPad keyboards and they are quite nice other than having a very poorly designed corner holders. Needless to say they broke within just days after purchase, nothing surprising with kids in the house. I haven’t thrown them away and kept them around for years hoping they might be useful some day. That day has come and I will show you how a simple fix has brought life back to these sad and lonely keyboards!

After sawing off the broken parts, I came up with two designs. One is a replacement for the broken corner only and leaves the other original corner. The other extends on the entire top side and replaces both the original corner holders. I used this honeycomb design to save on material and not spend eternity redesigning the wheel. I modified that model in the following ways:

  • I made the bottom thinner since it was too thick
  • I sliced away the case to create the corner version and top side only
  • I cut sliced away the casing where iPad buttons are to allow easier access

No rocket science here, printed these in PLA, some super glue cement the printed parts into the old cases.  I will let photos tell the story.

 

And the final result, a very good result, the full holder seems very strong and tight, there is new life for this keyboard.

Conclusion and after thoughts:

  • The corner design is OK but doesn’t hold as strong as the full length design so I recommend going with the longer one if you have print bed space to print it
  • The 3D printed replacement has much more holding area so I think they will last longer and won’t break easily
  • Even if these break I can re-print.
  • A good 3d modelling exercise in customizing an existing design for a quick fix.
  • You can download the design from Thingiverse here.

Let me know if this helped you resurrect your old broken keyboards 😉

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