Ten objects for the kitchen, the vacuum cleaner and the workbench. Developed and feasibility tested by the company.
With 3D4U, the premium domestic appliance manufacturer Miele is the first company in its branch of industry to offer its customers a broad range of 3D-printable accessories. The company is starting by releasing data records for ten objects which can be downloaded with immediate effect and free of charge from the Thingiverse platform. These include kitchen gadgets, vacuum cleaner accessories and useful items for handyman. Several models even have customisable motifs and parameters.
In industry, 3D printing has long been commonplace. But this technology is also becoming increasingly popular in private households. 'With 3D4U, we aim to offer our customers additional benefits and put ideas into practice which we were not previously able to implement as part of our comprehensive portfolio of accessories', says David Buhl, 3D4U project manager at Miele's Bielefeld plant. 'In doing so, each part reflects our expertise in product development, for instance more than 90 years of Miele experience in floor care'.
Each 3D4U accessory comes replete with a description of the recommended printing parameters, with technical feasibility tested using a so-called fused layer modelling printer (FLM printer). This produces a liquid filament which is deposited layer by layer, creating a finished object working from the bottom upwards. Miele recommends the use of filaments made from polylactides (PLA) in the 3D printing process. This material lends itself to use on common domestic 3D printers and its use is quite widespread in the community.
Kitchen gadgets, vacuum cleaner accessories and useful items for handyman
For the 3D4U launch, Miele is offering ten objects in the three categories 'Kitchen gadgets', 'Vacuum cleaners' and 'Handyman'. These include a borehole cleaning aid with an airflow design optimised in computer simulations – just like product development for Miele vacuum cleaners. Fitted to the handle tube, this device sticks to the wall, leaving both hands free to operate the drill.
Another useful device is the 3D4U valuables separator. Thanks to the fine structure of the membrane in the attachment, this vacuum cleaning accessory never fails as a versatile helper, preventing smaller valuable items from landing in the dust bag or container. Whether vacuuming boxes, drawers or even handbags, cleaning building blocks or searching deep-pile carpeting for a lost ear-ring – dirt disappears into the bag, leaving your valuables behind.
3D4U also offers handy accessories for use around the kitchen as printable downloads, for example a coffee clip. This device allows packaging to be re-sealed once opened and the contents to be precisely dispensed via a screw cap. This keeps coffee beans and other pourable products fresh for longer. The 3D4U motif dispenser, which conjures up a motif on a coffee with cocoa powder or castor sugar on cakes and biscuits, makes for great variety. Users can easily create their own motifs by downloading cap templates and adding their own motif using a CAD programme.
All templates are available for downloading with immediate effect and free of charge: https://www.thingiverse.com/miele_3D4U/designs
Further information is also available here: www.miele.com/3d4u
Company profile: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. This line-up is augmented by dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications (Miele Professional). The Miele company, founded in 1899, has eight production plants in Germany as well as one plant each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland. These are joined by the two plants belonging to Miele's Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Turnover in the 2018/19 business year was around € 4.16 bn, with a share of business outside Germany of approx. 71%. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 20,500, whereof 11,050 are employed in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.