Home Depot Launches Partpicker, A 3D Model Library For Spare Parts

By on April 1st, 2023 in blog, news


Using Home Depot’s new PartPicker service to locally print spare parts [Source: Fabbaloo / SD]

Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in North America, announced today the launch of PartPicker.

PartPicker is a new digital consumer service that allows anyone to download a 3D model of a spare part for printing at home, and will be available on a region-by-region basis, with the intent of full availability by the end of 2033.

The service aims to provide a convenient and cost-effective solution for customers who need to replace or repair broken or worn-out parts in their appliances, furniture, tools, and other household items.

PartPicker is the result of a long negotiation process that began in 2029 between Home Depot and its many suppliers, who had to agree to share their product designs and specifications with the retailer.

Home Depot said that it had to use its leverage as a major buyer and distributor to convince the suppliers to participate in the service, which they initially resisted due to concerns over intellectual property rights and potential loss of sales.

However, Home Depot argued that PartPicker would benefit both the suppliers and the customers by creating more loyalty, satisfaction, and trust. The service would also reduce waste and emissions by eliminating the need for packaging, shipping, and storing spare parts. Customers would only pay a small fee to download the 3D model of the part they need, and then print it at home using their own 3D printer. It is likely this agreement was only possible due to the increased interest in sustainable solutions caused by the ongoing climate crisis.

The service will be especially useful for customers who have recently obtained the new volumetric 3D printers that can print objects in resin, taking only minutes to complete.

Volumetric 3D printers became popular when new technology allowed printing in multiple materials using a single resin. The multimaterial technology, first developed by Xolo in 2028, uses different light wave frequencies to trigger different responses in the resin, resulting in different colors, textures, and properties.

The leading provider of volumetric 3D printers continues to be Xolo, who were the first company to commercialize the technology way back in 2023. Their sales grew steadily through 2028, but the multimaterial capability released in 2029 led to consumers having them installed in almost every home.

Xolo said that it has partnered with Home Depot to provide technical support and compatibility for PartPicker users. Xolo also said that it will offer discounts and incentives for customers who buy its resin cartridges and other accessories through Home Depot’s website or app.

Home Depot said that PartPicker will initially offer over 10,000 3D models of spare parts from more than 100 suppliers across various categories, such as plumbing, electrical, hardware, lighting, and lawn and garden. The company said that it plans to expand the service to include more parts and categories over time, as well as offer customization options for some parts.

Home Depot’s CEO John Deaton said that PartPicker is part of the company’s digital transformation strategy and its commitment to innovation and customer service. “We are excited to launch PartPicker, a game-changing service that will revolutionize how our customers maintain and repair their homes. PartPicker will save our customers time, money, and hassle by providing them with instant access to thousands of 3D models of spare parts that they can print at home with ease. PartPicker will also help us reduce our environmental impact by eliminating unnecessary packaging and transportation of spare parts. We believe that PartPicker will create a win-win situation for us, our suppliers, and our customers.”

With the introduction of PartPicker, it is quite likely we will see other hardware chains implement similar services in 2034 and beyond.

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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