One of the greatest, practical benefits of having access to a 3D printer is that you can make replacement parts for things that either you could not get elsewhere, or that can save you a wad of cash by printing your own parts. I’ve often seen mention of the example of 3D printing your own broken dishwasher parts and saving the hundreds of dollars you’d spend calling in a repairman and then ordering the expensive parts. But I’ve got another example for you that is real, and it’s probably something you haven’t thought of before. And it’s a huge money-saver.
There is a musician by the name of Malcolm Messiter, who owns a 1970 Robert Goble harpsichord. It had begun to not work so well, as the aging, brittle parts started to break on him. Specifically, he needed new “jacks,” which are the parts that holds the plectrum, which plucks the string when you press a key. The problem is, he needed 183 of them, and these aren’t exactly something you find on Amazon or eBay.
He did some checking and found that it would cost about $3,100 to order them made of custom wood pieces. That’s a lot of green. He checked out having them made in plastic and that wasn’t going to happen.
But Malcom had a ace in his pocket. He had a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer. And it could print the little jacks in ABS plastic for him, as many as he wanted. And he didn’t need $3,100. He didn’t even need $100. He needed just an estimated $28.48 in material costs. Considering a Makerbot costs $1,749.00, this little project paid for itself and more.
Now sit back and enjoy listening to the the Robert Goble beauty yourself: