I have always thought that repairing a broken product is better than throwing it away, even though quite a few products are designed in ways that don't help or directly encourage not to repair. In general, repairing is good for your personal wallet and good for the environment, right? Now that digital fabrication tools are spreading out like wildfire, it has become much easier to design and produce a spare part and repair your product. It gets even better as online communities share howtos and even design files. However several legal challenges may occur. Some examples.
A simple explanation of Digital Do-It-Yourself and its ethical problems
When the spread of cheap micro-computers made computing accessible to a wide range of people, there was an outpouring of creativity - no longer did one have to belong to one of the 'priesthoods' that cared for the big and expensive lumps of computing power. For example, the era of a new form of mass entertainment - the computer game - arrived, powered (at least initially) by creative individuals. However creativity is notoriously unbounded, and it also ushered in the era of computer viruses.
Digital Do It Yourself (DiDIY) techniques allow people, not necessarily specialised in the art, to reproduce complex objects with relative ease and low cost. DigitalDIY brings together the physical and the digital realm such as in 3D printers and scanners or networks of sensors and actuators (the "Internet of Things", IoT). This provides tremendous benefits for society at large in various ways:
With digital DIY you can now make your own gun at home, and nobody can control you. Since gun control relies on the ability of the state to enforce it, it is failing now. The digital DIY of weapons will be a real war of all against all.
Weinberg, Michael (2010), ‘It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw it Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology’, https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/it-will-be-awesome-if-th....