Home Appliance Industry

French Home Appliance Wants You to 3D Print Spare Parts

3D print spare parts

Major French brand Boulanger wants customers to 3D print spare parts, launches new website, “happy3D” to host and share their own exclusive brand designs.

Cults 3D announced a new platform that will have many people saying “Finally!” The digital marketplace is partnering up with Boulanger, a major home appliance and multimedia specialist in France to help customers 3D print spare parts quickly and efficiently via their new happy3D website.

Major French brand shares their spare part designs! (Image: Boulanger)
Major French brand shares their spare part designs! (Image: Boulanger)

Boulanger is a huge company in France, making this development that much more exciting. The 60-year-old institution boasts 9,000 employees selling and servicing 20,000 products around the country. For customers, this change means getting more out of machines and spending less doing it. For the company, this means their machines can live longer without needing constant intervention and interaction.

“To slow product obsolescence, customers must be able to repair their own high-tech devices and household appliances,” says Gaële Wuilmet, Director of Boulanger Services and Innovation, and B’dom. “This is the first time ever that a company has published the blueprints of its own exclusive brands for the general public. In doing so, Boulanger hopes that other major brands will soon follow our lead.”

Can Boulanger Make 3D Printed Spare Parts the Norm?

Will customers 3D print spare parts? (Image: Boulanger)
Will customers 3D print spare parts? (Image: Boulanger)

Given that many companies actively choose planned obsolescence, wherein products are expected to break, forcing customers to buy new ones, this is an interesting development. The happy3D platform already hosts over 100 parts for customers to print, and that number will presumably grow fast.

For customers who don’t own printers, Boulanger will hook them up with local 3D Hubs members. On top of this, Boulanger is also behind a short training program called “My 3D Printer & Me” to help new users set up and get comfortable with at-home printers in Paris.

happy3D ・ Télécharger des modèles pour imprimante 3D (20160607)

The decision to host exclusive brand designs online for customers could affect not only Boulanger but entire industries (we hope!). It marks the early steps towards revamping how consumers buy and care for products. More interest in the area should lead to an increased interest in 3D printing and the opportunity for everyday folks to create their own replacement parts at home.