As a chronic Linux user, I’ve been a fan of thinkpads for a while – so long, in fact, that my current thinkpad’s trackpoint has been worn to a smooth, useless nub. Woe was I!
Luckily I have been brushing up on my FreeCAD/3D printing chops (well, ushering them into infancy), and this little part served as a good example project.
After taking some calipers to the original trackpoint, I was able to come up with a profile that I could perform a revolution on:
Performing a revolution on this yielded a rough 3d shape – applying a chamfer to the edge and adding some small spheres made for some grip and improved aesthetics:
To make it fit on the existing mount, I created a rectangular pocket by subtracting a cube from the rotated solid. After firing up the 3d printer (and churning through 1 poor print) I had a working replacement:
It is working a lot better now!
If anyone else wants to print one of these, here’s a link to the .STL file.