I couldn’t find snow baskets for my Mountain Designs trekking poles so I designed some in Fusion 360 and had them 3D printed in Nylon. Will give them a full test in an upcoming New Zealand alpine trip.
It’s really interesting to be able to produce at small scale with the accuracy and materials normally only available in a bigger production run that requires expensive tooling for injection moulding. Plastic is cool for its strength and lightness and 3D printing allows for one-off products to suit obscure needs — without having to produce 100,000 units to make production viable. Then there is the potential for waste if the product doesn’t match the demand. So 3D printing has the potential to fine-tune the use of plastic to meet specific needs; we do need to rethink its use, perhaps after the Anthropocene when plastic persists, it will be called the Plasticene.
Contact me if you’d like a set, or perhaps I’m the only one in the world who has the need!