An update on the Prusa Blog this weekend details the new brand portal area of the Printables website, offering official parts, IP-specific models, and brand-approved community prints.
Some folks haven’t given up on desktop 3D printing’s initial promise of a printer in every home. Replacing the mass-made bits and pieces you’d usually ship in from elsewhere with homemade equivalents as and when needed. An update to Printables this weekend takes a small step toward this vision. “Wouldn’t it be great, if you could download official 3D printable files with replacement parts and accessories for your home appliances? Or an official fan model from your favorite game?” the blog post detailing the update goes.
The right-to-repair initiative
In addition to the obvious benefit of making the right quantity when needed. The blog post points out another benefit: it makes it “easier for brands to support the right-to-repair initiative.” The first brands to populate Printables’ brand area are Prusa Research, Adafruit, Noctua, Raspberry Pi, World of Warships, Cooler Master, Framework Computer, and Bohemia Interactive. Each brand page has areas for official uploads and collections. Plus highlighted prints that the brand is happy to draw attention to.
From a content perspective, there’s not much to see that wasn’t already available on Printables. It seems the new pages are mainly reorganizing content already on the site. Prusa Research and Adafruit are, by a large gap, more active with their uploads – a combined 300+ models, to the other brands’ 29. But it’s a promising first step.
Other file repositories, such as MyMiniFactory, offer similar device-oriented collections of parts, but to our knowledge, few have gotten household appliance brands onboard. It could be that there’s little appetite from manufacturers outside 3D printing or the open-source hardware space.
An element designed to foster trust is the addition of Twitter-esque official verification ticks beside the brand name. The badges are also available to verified designers.