3D Printed Prius Hatch Release Switch Cover

Replaces the gooey/stiff rubber cover to open the rear hatch.

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The Prius is great, but after a few years exposed to the weather, the black rubber cover over the rear hatch release switch turns to a sticky, gooey mess and later gets hard and inflexible (especially when it's cold) and won't work. This 3D printed part made of TPU replaces the cover and stays flexible and easy to operate in any weather.

Please consider this for the Organizational Prize as it is posted on behalf of the Milwaukee Makerspace. Thanks!

The Prius rear hatch release switch is covered with some sort of black rubber that deteriorates with exposure to weather.  Mine had gone through the usual phases of first getting sticky and gooey, leaving black yuck on my fingers every time I used it, to becoming so rigid that I could no longer operate the switch.

I took the whole thing apart and after about an hour of cleaning all the black rubber off the switch housing, modeled the housing and then created a model of the cover to fit.  I printed it in TPU and it's been on the car for over a year and is still as flexible as the day I printed it, even when the temperature is below 0F.  The print doesn't seal like the original part did, but a little silicone sealer added around the edges at install time takes care of that.

Please consider this for the Organizational Prize as it is posted on behalf of the Milwaukee Makerspace.  Thanks!


DesignSpark Mechanical CAD file

rsdoc - 566.32 kB - 01/21/2018 at 00:33



STL file for the print

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 279.38 kB - 01/21/2018 at 00:33


  • 1
    Print instructions

    If you've never printed TPU before, you need to go slow.  I printed this at 30 mm/sec, no retraction, 225C hot-end, 60C PEI bed, in 0.2 mm layers with a 0.4mm nozzle.

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Ralph wrote 03/01/2018 at 01:14 point

Love this idea - I have a Prius with exactly the same problem.  Just ordered a spool of TPU to give this a try.  Thanks!

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Mark Rehorst wrote 03/01/2018 at 02:19 point

A quick web search will demonstrate just how common a problem it is. Mine has been on the car for almost 2 years and it's still working great!

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