Elements made in 3D printing technology can not only replace everyday objects, but also enrich them with new functions or optimize them in terms of functionality. Such solutions were offered by IKEA, presenting a line of accessories for players, tailored to their individual needs and preferences.
The German manufacturer of household appliances, Miele, also started a project in which 3D printing technology was involved. As part of 3D4U, the manufacturer provides ten models of STL accessories for household appliances and more – among them there were tips for a vacuum cleaner or kitchen accessories. Models are available free of charge via the Thingiverse platform.
Among the presented models, most are accessories for Miele vacuum cleaners – precision tips for collecting small dirt or adapters, allowing the possibility of connecting one vacuum cleaner to two pipes. Particularly interesting seems to be the tip that effectively collects dust during drilling (guiding graphic). Among the projects, there is also an element that will get the attention of the youngest – a module that allows you to direct the air leaving the vacuum cleaner and use it to… make soap bubbles.
Miele has also published models dedicated for use in the kitchen, e.g. coffee packaging clips that will help keep the product fresh for longer. Miele is the first manufacturer in the world to provide a repository of models dedicated to their devices. The manufacturer recommends printing elements in FDM technology from the most popular PLA material. Will the company decide to introduce a similar method to create further elements and spare parts?
Many companies have considered the introduction of 3D printing technology in the production of spare parts. Electrolux is one of the first companies in the home appliances industry to consider the introduction of an “on-demand” spare parts production system. The cooperation with Singapore’s Spare Parts 3D start-up, responsible for optimizing spare parts production, was to contribute to minimizing storage costs as well as shorter delivery times. So far, the project seems to be still in the testing phase, and its effects have not yet been made available to users.
Another well-known company is Whirlpool. Their design assumed the preparation of a digital spare parts catalog of a given manufacturer allows the production of “on demand” spare parts. As specialists from Whirlpool assume, in the case of additive technologies (Whirlpool plans to use the three most popular methods) the time of manufacturing the element is usually shorter than the waiting period for delivery from the spare parts warehouse.