Prosthetic fan blades

I got home to find my storage server’s fans running full tilt. After deciding that this wasn’t a VM hogging the processor, I figured it was probably time to refresh the thermal paste anyway and removed the heatsinks to clean out any dust. Under the second CPU riser board there’s a small, flat fan and heatsink I hadn’t noticed before and I removed it too.

It’s called the “Processor Fan” in Dell’s T7500 service manual.

The riser CPU heatsink did have a layer of dust on the fins, and I hoped clearing that out with compressed air would resolve things. But when I got to the “processor fan” heatsink, the fins on that little fan disintegrated as soon as the compressed air hit it.

No big deal, there are replacements available on eBay for under $20, but I really didn’t want to sit around for a month waiting on some dinky fan to ship. So I introduced this nail to my new hammer, a resin printer:

I trimmed the sharp plastic fragments on the fan motor and test fit the new blades.

Once I had tweaked the model to fit the fan hub, it got superglued in place.

The plastic duct over the fan had to be sanded down a bit so the new blades wouldn’t rub.

Here is a short video of cellphone camera footage: