"That spare part? It's hard to find" Unless one uses DiDIY, that is

We recently wrote that: The biggest impact will come when digital DIY is allowed or pushed to move down the pyramid of needs [to] mass customization of low-tech objects that everybody already needs and use". Here is a real world example:

  • "I walked into my local library and saw their new 3D printer available for patron use. What would I create first?"
  • "[The many designs that I found online] mostly reminded me of the many hundreds of little hunks of plastic currently residing in my daughters’ play room—once must-have toys that eventually contribute to the clutter in our lives"
  • "And then one day as I was preparing a bowl of cereal, I had my ah-ha moment. This challenge stared at me, daily, taunting me to find a solution—I’d finally fix the broken plastic top cap on our refrigerator door handle!"
  • Why? Because "this particular model of refrigerator is long obsolete and renewal parts availability is low. We couldn’t justify replacing the entire appliance because of one small cracked part"

It is worthwhile to point out that, while that 3D printed spare part did cost "$2.83 plus many hours of my time", this is only because it was the first time. From now on, the cost of replacing the same part in the same way, for whoever needed it, would only be "$2.83, plus temporary access to a 3D printer". 

The whole story is at Ars Technica, but before reading it... Imagine a world where activities like these are commonplace, for any household product; then imagine if, how and how much the current legal systems and culture of a society should change to accomodate it, and you will have a good idea of what we of the DiDIY Project are studying, and why.