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Anyone using 3D printing to fix everyday stuff? Answered

Let's get this out of the way: 3D printing is amazing.  Prototyping and even generating human tissue are happening.  Right. Now.

That said, let's find some everyday uses for this crazy technology. How are you using it to fix stuff around your house?  Doorstops, replacement parts, hacks, key hooks... all that stuff. 

Dont' have access to a 3D printer?  Post your idea here and maybe we'll help you get it made...  ;)


I'll agree with you there that 3D printing is amazing. What I don't agree with is the push to make DIY at home 3D printing as the cure all for everything that needs to be fabricated. In general, the public would not really think about the limitations of the materials or design structure as long as the part they print out looks like the part they need. Is PLA too slippery or hard for a doorstop? Why did my knob snap off the clothes washer and why did it melt on the oven control? Why did my replacement gear wear out causing the motor to spin out of control? Why did my keychain break causing the keys to fall down the sewer grate? People only see a 3D print and not realize several hours were taken to produce that print, not to mention the time it took to create the digital design.

Couldn't agree more. The magic is using 3D printing as a tool, just like a table saw. There's no way I could have machined out a replacement knob or even cast it as easily as 3D printing it - the next step is dipping it in Grip-Dip to give it a nice texture.
I'm looking for people who are also using the technology as a step in making real solutions. Check this out too: http://safetythirdshow.com/listen/ - the second episode talks about 3D printing.

I guess with the knob, I would have designed in an indicator notch and knurled the surface for grip. But then again, I would have taken the original knob and reinforced it with some epoxy putty, squished it back on to fit. 3D printing may help in your iterative process but it adds up to time and money.

I agree. 3D printing is overhyped and seen as a solution to everything. Too many people don't understand its limitations, the difficulties and the engineering knowledge required to use it well.

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