3-D printing gives repair a boost

Have you ever tried to fix something, a coffee maker or a piece of furniture, only to find the item is perfectly fine except for one small part. But finding replacement parts seems to be mission impossible these days. Often retail stores, the manufacturer or repair shops do not have access to the part or it seems far more expensive to repair than than to buy new. Heidi, a volunteer with Repair Fair, found herself with a set of glass tables that were made unusable because the plastic tabs that held the glass tops in place were broken. She searched high and low, but could not find replacements.

3-D printing has stepped in to help DIYers tackle the cycle of consumption disposal of every day items by offering a options for “printing” their own parts. Travis, a long time volunteer with Repair Fair, and Brendan from the Hillsboro Library printed up the parts that Heidi needed for her tables using the library’s 3-D printer.

Interested in learning more? The Hillsboro Library’s Collaboratory offers classes and open lab times. Thingiverse is a database filled with design plans for many replacement parts to help repair folks fix items.