3D Printed Rain Gutter Outlet

by Jim Ward

The Issue

Recently, I had a need to replace a broken rain gutter outlet on an awning on my 1976 pre-fabricated home.  The outside support for the awning is an open “C” channel which also acts as the rain gutter.  Water exits the channel via a hole in the bottom of the channel (See Figure 1 below. That dark circle is where water exits the channel).

In order to guide the water into the downspout (the tube that carries the water to the ground) there was a plastic piece called an “outlet” that needed to be replaced. This should have been simple a simple process. My first option was to buy a new one and install it.  However, that proved to be impossible as I couldn’t locate a new one.

Figure 1

The Resolution

I’m lucky to work for GoEngineer as they allowed me to 3D print a replacement outlet.  I designed a new one using SOLIDWORKS and submitted it to our 3D print group who had it printed within a few hours.  The result is a beautiful honey colored piece as you see in figure 2 below.  The new part is stronger than the old one and will last a very long time.

The Installation

Now it’s time for installation.  Figure 3 below shows the outlet installed onto the channel. It was a quick install and is now ready to divert water to the downspout.

For the final touch, I attached the downspout and we’re done! I’m now ready for the rain.  What projects do you have around the house? I bet it can be fixed with a SOLIDWORKS design and 3D printed piece.

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