Meet Alvise Rizzo and Discover how he re-created a 3D printed handle for a washing machine
Posted By Arthur Cassaignau on Apr 30, 2014 | 0 comments
There are lots of expectations when it comes to spare parts and 3D printing. Websites, TV, journalists and even individuals we met during different shows are often asking about the little thing they broke in their home and the best way to replace it. This is exactly what happened when Alvise Rizzo was working for the Big Fish Hostel in Las Palmas. A few weeks after he arrived to work in the hostel, the washing machine’s handle used every day by the guests broke.
The hostel manager wanted it fixed and before settling down for 3D printing, he tried different solutions. He glued the pieces back together. They broke. He tried to make something out of wood. It broke also. Alvise states:
“In this conditions, and for someone who hasn’t ever used 3D printing before, the last possible solution is to call the company and ask if they could just ship one spare handle. Chances are they won’t and in the end you’ll just have to throw away the product”.
When Alvise was made aware of the situation, he mentionned that he had used 3D printing in the past and that it suited the situation. It was indeed a piece mounted on an inside mechanism with a relatively complicated shape and it needed strength to support pressure. On this, Alvise adds:
“It’s incredible that every other solutions just failed and with 3D printing, it took me just a few hours to get the job done. I got lucky this time and there was no iteration around the design. I reproduced the piece as it was supposed to be. And the 3D printed white plastic just happened to have the good characteristics.”
After designing the piece, Alvize just ordered it through Sculpteo online and received it in a matter of days. In fact, he wasn’t even there when the package arrived, and the hostel manager mounted the piece himself.
Alvise didn’t just had luck with this project, he’s a trained industrial product designer. He learned at Politecnico di Milano in Italia how to do just that. But he’s confident that with the right amount of time and motivation most people can come up with a similar result.
“Of course I was trained to do it in a matter of hours, but great 3d softwares are now completely free. You have lots of tutorials online. I’m not saying it’s gonna be totally fun, and that you’ll succeed the first time you try. But in the end, you’ll learn a great deal out of it and you won’t throw away a perfectly good product.”
The result looked like the washing machine had always be like that and guests in the hostel probably don’t even notice the difference.
If you have a similar project and you want to take it to the next step, we recommand that you take a look at Sketchup (you’ll even find our plugin for Sketchup) or the different online apps from Autodesk. Their 123D Design App is particularly helpful to create an object without having any 3D skills.
If you’ve already created your own file, feel free to upload it here for an instant quote.