3D printing used to create spare parts, save money

Could 3D printing be the savior of broken and missing product parts? Maybe, but copyright issues may need to be cleared up.

It's happened to us all: You buy a new toy or gadget and you run home to try out your new purchase only to find out a piece is missing or broken. That excitement quickly disappears and frustration sets in. However, 3D printing could have the answer! What if you could just print your own spare part? Instructables user dscott4 did just that.

For dscott4, his frustration came when his Bugaboo baby stroller broke. In an effort to fix the high-end stroller, he first turned to the product manufacturer, they quoted him a massive $250 for the repair. As way of an alternative, dscott4 turned to Shapeways. Shapeways is a 3D printing company which allows its customers to provide their own 3D models for printing, which the company will then create and ship.

Dscott4 paid just $25 for the alternative repair, which was printed out of sturdy stainless steel. Now, not everyone will know how to submit 3D models for printing, so this sort of DIY fix isn't accessible to everyone just yet--but the question currently being asked is, should it?

A lot of discussion is currently circulating around the legal implications of 3D printing and the potential copyright issues it poses. We're not lawyers, so we can't comment on the potential legal pitfalls, but in the meantime, you can see dscott4's full instructions over on Instructables.


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This story, "3D printing used to create spare parts, save money" was originally published by PCWorld.

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