Custom 3D Printed Selectric Elements are HERE! (Vogue! Papyrus!)

Weapon of Choice: “Dr. Lizardo” 1973 IBM Selectric II #26 1220365 In January, Richard Polt highlighted custom 3D printed Blick typewheels in his blog – now 9 months later come the custom 3D printed Selectric I/II 88-Character typeballs. The Future is NOW! :D Joe’s first Review (there will be more, I’m certain)
One thing to keep in mind is that those of us who jump on this sort of thing right off the bat are basically Beta Testers. We’re going to find all of the bugs & quirks that will be fixed and iterated out of the typeballs you might buy a month or two from now. Therefore, don’t be worried that us first adopters are running into things like the clip and burrs in the teeth. Heck, even back in the day many people didn’t like GP or DSG elements and attributed poor quality to non-IBM made elements. Fact is, the Selectric is a very sensitive machine, and *your* Selectric is a *very old* sensitive machine in not the best condition, most likely. I guess what I’m getting at is to see the issues I’m pointing out here are easily solved with a little hand-finishing of the teeth and maybe a light dab of grease inside the hub. Stuff you probably ought to be doing to all of your Selectric elements anyway, as old as they are.

Frankly, I’m tickled to death that these typeballs are being produced, and I want to see more of them. It was an astonishing feat to reverse engineer and design these new typeballs and the fact that they work at all is amazing. That they work *very well* with a bit of light TLC is mind-bogglingly cool. Durability is still a question, but it’s not like the originals aren’t also plastic (but vacuum-metallized), so chances seem good that these balls will last awhile. We’ll find out, though. (:

Austin Selectric Rescue

Tips on using the clip:

Tips on Indexing/Alignment problems:

Updated: September 11, 2023 — 11:19 pm


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  1. Cool^10!

  2. Now if only someone would do the same with daisy wheels!

    1. Yeah, but which brand? Too many different kinds. /:

    1. I know – I got that one kind of as a joke, but I’m actually kinda digging it as a typeface…

  3. I think it’s pretty cool too. It’s wild to see that coming out of a Typewriter! Next stop: Comic Sans! 😜

    1. Heh, he already has Comic Sans balls, if you want one. :D

  4. That is pretty sweet. I wonder what type of resin he used in his printer. From what I have seen and heard, resin prints are fragile.

    1. They don’t feel fragile, but we’ll see. I’ll be reporting on long-term use and how they hold up.

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