Raise your hand if this sounds familiar – I had to replace my (fill in with that item now in the landfill) because I couldn’t find a replacement part!
One thing I can guarantee about DIY projects – a large percentage are repair related. Are these projects as fun as building a tree-house? Not usually. More like – never! One of the main reasons they aren’t is the frustration factor involved when searching for repair parts. You know the drill – if I can find this part I can fix this in no time.
Unfortunately this is usually followed by multiple trips to multiple stores. The result – the part is “no longer available”, or was never available. So you try to get creative and cobble something together that has a less than stellar outcome.
You may be thinking, “I already know this, and don’t need a reminder thank you very much”. The point isn’t to rub salt into the wound, rather a reminder and a hope that the outcome could be so much more satisfying.
So, to the future. Or is the future now? What I am referring to, and the picture above, is a hope that these repairs become as simple as 1,2,3 – print. If you didn’t already guess, or know, the picture is a 3D printer. And they are becoming more common, less expensive, and extremely versatile.
While the expense may keep them out of most households for the foreseeable future, the possibility of access could, and “should” be right around the corner. With so many uses being explored and brought to fruition, it is simply a matter of time before use becomes commonplace.
This is my DIY fantasy. And one that I believe will be reality sooner, rather than later. Clever companies or individuals will invest in 3D printing with this exact scenario in mind. You have a broken part, gizmo, widget, whatever for which you can’t source a replacement. You take the part to a 3D printing shop and have new one fabricated from a compatible material.
No more searching and hoping you can locate something that might work. You have an exact fit part without the hassle and frustration. Will this be feasible in every scenario? Certainly not! But if it is effective even fifty percent of the time, think of the time saved. Think about all of the material that will stay out of the landfill for at least a few more months or years.
It should be apparent that 3D printing has uses that are far greater than my little fantasy. Supply follows demand, and the way I see it there is a huge demand for this type of service. However you see the future, it could be a nice benefit of 3D printing technology.
What do you want to know about DIY?
Do you have specific projects you would like to tackle? Not sure how to get started? Convinced that you won’t be able to get answers to your questions at the hardware store? Great! Tom wants to know.
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Check back to see if your question gets answered here at the Good Men Project DIY on Tuesday and Saturday.