They’re becoming more prevalent in manufacturing, but if you’re still wondering if you need a 3D printer at home, there’s just one other question you need to ask: Do you have any old die-cast toy cars in need of a restoration?
Stian Ervik Wahlvåg’s 10-minute video documenting the slow process of restoring a Majorette die-cast tractor toy he’s had since he was a kid might be the most relaxing and satisfying thing you’ll see online today. Not only does he masterfully refinish all of the toy’s paint work, he also uses the opportunity to upgrade the tractor’s plastic wheels to look more authentic.
Using 3D modeling software, Wahlvåg designed a new set of wheels from scratch with a more detailed and accurate tread design, which were then churned out by a 3D printer. It took a bit of work to remove the plastic supports, smooth their finish, and then paint the wheels to look authentic, but when re-assembled the toy tractor looks better than brand new.
It might not be the must-have application that 3D printer makers have been desperately seeking for years now, but I’ve got a bin full of broken Hot Wheels toys that I’d love to see showroom-ready again.