There’s nothing worse than breaking a small plastic part that at one point had a big purpose. Whether it be a small gear to a toy or a crucial component to a product in your home, and in order to get a replacement part it means contacting the manufacturer and waiting weeks if not months for a replacement piece. Most of us have dealt with this in the past, but when getting a replacement piece means buying a whole new product, it’s very aggravating.
Now here’s what happened to me! I have a roller blind that covers a large window and it’s held in place at each end with a small plastic part which is screwed into the wall. Being that this blind requires a hefty tug to pull it down, these small end pieces are susceptible to breakage. Low and behold, one end broke completely in half and the entire blind came crashing down to the floor in nothing but the most awkward way.
After analyzing the part that broke, a light bulb went off in my brain “I can probably print this!”. I quickly measured the part using a vernier, built the part in CAD with a beefier profile, then sent it to our 3D printer. 20 minutes later and voila, an exact replica of the original part! It’s been over a week now and the part is doing just fine, and I should also point out that the part I had printed for my older Mercedes (see Dec 16th post) is holding up just fine as well! Hail the 3D printer!
With prices coming down and entry level models coming out I would highly suggest investing in one, not only will they make almost anything but they will save you in a pinch!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!