Repairs You Can Print: A Little Love for the Glove Box


A few years ago, [Brieuc]’s car blew a fuse. He went to replace it, which unfortunately means removing the entire glove box. In his haste to get his baby back on the road, he accidentally broke one of the clips that holds the glove box on the dashboard.

[Brieuc] tried to just glue the thing back together, but it didn’t hold because the part has to flex a little bit for people who need to get into the fuse box. No one seems to offer a replacement for this small but vital hunk of plastic, though he did find someone offering total glove box replacements at highway robbery prices. Since there was still one good clip, he used it to design and print a strong ABS replacement.

This is a great example of the one-off utility of 3D printers. [Brieuc] didn’t need an exact copy, and since he was replacing an injection-molded part with additive manufacturing, he had the freedom to start with a bare-bones design, make adjustments as needed, and iterate until he got it right. It didn’t take long. The layer orientation of the first print made the legs too weak, but that’s a simple fix. The second version has lasted for three years and counting.

We get it. You don’t have the same car as [Brieuc], so this particular fix doesn’t sway you. But someday in the future when your zipper breaks or your dishwasher detergent cup won’t latch, 3D printing will be there to help.



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