Here is another short blog post showing the use of 3D printing against planned obsolescence… or simply the inevitable wear of objects, even when they are well designed. There was a part 1 and part 2 before this one.
In this particular case, I had a perfectly functional object… except for one little part:
As you can notice, the plastic piece that is supposed to hold the paper roll has broken. And it is not a simple fix with some glue:
Designing a solution
Fortunately, thanks to 3D printing, we can now print the same piece at home. Some 3D scanners out there can quickly scan the piece to print an exact copy. However, a broken part generally signals a weakness in the design. This is actually confirmed by the other, symmetrical, piece which started cracking in the exact some area. So printing the same piece would lead to the same problem later. Thus I redesigned it, adding some reinforcements in the area where it broke.. This way, I will reprint the piece with a stronger structure in the places where there is most tension:
Implementing the solution
And now we just need to print it:
The result looks good and quite similar to the original except it’s stronger in the weaker parts:
The main difficulty of this piece was the part that plugs into a rail on the main dispenser. The rail had to be precise enough to allow moving without being too loose.
And it is finally fixed!
Now I am waiting for the left arm to break – it will be a piece of cake to replace it.
Think of all the metal and plastic that could be saved if we repaired our objects instead of systematically buying new ones!