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We’re on the hunt for stories about 3D-printed parts that have come to the rescue: replacement parts, custom tools, adaptations of existing objects, and more.

So please share with us your stories (and links to images) in the comments below. When have you 3D-printed an object to solve a problem or improve your life in some way?

We’ll be picking our favorite stories to feature in our next 3D printing guide. For inspiration, here are some of our favorite “just what I needed” stories from our 2012 Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing.


SIP4_112_JustWhatINeed1

thingiverse.com/thing:10043

“ When some plastic part breaks in your car, the chances of finding a replacement and then being able to buy it without getting a second mortgage are slim to none. My Thing-O-Matic allowed me to replace a broken plastic fitting in my car’s luggage cover, which saved me from having to buy a whole new one at roughly half the price of my 3D printer kit. I have now helped many others make vacuum cover clips, showerhead holders, and many other hard-to-find replacement parts. ”

—Miguel Angelo de Oliveira, Hartsdale, N.Y.


SIP4_112_JustWhatINeed2

thingiverse.com/thing:8947

“ I wanted to attach a rear light to my bike, but I have a rack installed, so it couldn’t go on the seat post. The rack already had holes for a license plate, so I made this simple adapter that goes on the rack using the existing holes, and then has a spring clip that fits the bike light directly, so that I can attach and remove it quickly. ”

—Gian Pablo, San Francisco, Calif.


SIP4_112_JustWhatINeed3

thingiverse.com/thing:26835

“ I ordered a KitchenAid stand mixer and its ice cream maker attachment. The ice cream maker attachment arrived on a Monday, but the mixer itself wasn’t going to arrive until the following Thursday. I wanted ice cream on Tuesday. This is my solution: an adapter to drive the ice cream maker with a standard ⅜” drill socket adapter (and a strong drill). ”

—Lee Holmes, Seattle, Wash.


SIP4_110_JustWhatINeed2

thingiverse.com/thing:9419

“ I bought a tackle box to help organize all my electrical components. Unfortunately I didn’t realize until I got home that it was missing a clip, and since it was the last one on the shelf (who sells out of tackle boxes?) I wouldn’t be able to exchange it. I fixed my problem by modeling a replacement from photos of the existing clip and caliper measurements. The replacement actually snaps tighter than the original, so I replaced them both! ”

—Chris Krueger, Arlington Heights, Ill.


SIP4_110_JustWhatINeed

thingiverse.com/thing:12648

“ My old Bosch 1611 is a killer router, but it’s 20 years old and almost impossible to find parts for. I couldn’t find a stock pattern collar adapter, so I just designed and printed my own. ”

—Bozo Cardozo, Ketchum, Idaho

Laura Cochrane

I’m an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, and etymology.


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