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Calling all 3D designers – help designing low volume replacement parts

There are some simple economics behind producing repayment parts like ours.  When we want to make a new part, we have to be somewhat certain that we can sell enough over a reasonable period of time to cover the cost of production.  Producing a new part involves two things – the cost to make the mold, and the MOQ, minimum order quantity.

The cost of making a mold itself can be a barrier to making a new part, but it really isn’t the worst.  The minimum order quantity is often 3,000-5,000 parts.  If we only expect to sell a hundred of a part each year, it can take a long time to work through that inventory, and all the while, we are sitting on working capital while we hold it.

So not every part can be made in quantity like the originals were.  An alternative is to design a 3D model to have printed via an online service.  The cost of each part goes up significantly, often 10-20 times the cost of production in quantity.  And the materials are getting better, but still aren’t quite suitable for all types of cookware replacement parts.

And there are tradeoffs. For example, our replacement handle for vintage Revere Ware stock pots and Dutch ovens has two halves that go together around the handle spline, and there is a nut embedded in one half of the handle.  With 3D printing you probably have to rely on just a sheet metal screw into a plastic hole.

But many people who can’t use their vintage Revere Ware pieces because of missing handles and such might be willing to accept some trade offs and pay a higher price just to be able to use their beloved piece again.

On such is the handle for the bale handle pot.

That top handle would be a great candidate for a printable 3D model.  The same is try for the coffee pot handle, although I’m not sure about availability of appropriate materials, as the coffee percolator handle is in much closer proximity to a stove heating element.

So far I’ve personally designed one part like this, a replacement trigger for the 3 1/2 quart tea kettle.

I’ve taught myself a bit of 3D design, but I don’t really have the time (or patience) to do more designs like this.

So I’d like to put it out there for any mechanical engineer or 3D designer / Revere Ware enthusiasts to take the flag and run with it.  There are probably at least half a dozen parts that could benefit from having a good 3D model that can either be printed in currently available materials, or in the future when better materials are available.

Please contact us if you are interested.

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