When extolling the virtues of 3D printing, we often hear the claim that, in the future, you’ll be able to repair a lot of the hardware in your house by simply downloading a 3D design file and printing and replacing the broken part. In this video, Stefan of CNC Kitchen, decides to try his hand at repairing a broken nylon gear in his salad spinner with one that he designs and 3D prints himself.

Now, sure, we get it, the amount of time and effort he put into this might seem silly, but it makes for a worthwhile experiment. In the process, we get a decent little tutorial on how to measure and recreate a gear design in a 3D design program (Fusion 360).

repair

It may have taken him hours to do, but the gear he prints does work. And, of course, now that Stefan has done the work of reverse engineering the part (and made the .STL file available), anyone with that particular broken gear on that particular salad spinner will have a much easier time printing and repairing their own. Now we have only another bazillion gears, buttons, brackets, nobs, switches, and the like to go. Luckily, Thingiverse is off to a good start.

Where I think this tech can currently be most useful is in replacing parts that cannot be otherwise acquired. I got an extremely rare early computer toy for Christmas. The brittle plastic battery door in the back is shattered into several pieces. I would love to design and print a replacement.