3D Printing Enables Successful Home Sale

Back in October, my wife and I purchased our long term home. We stumbled upon the house and fell in love with it. It was very sudden and we knew the stars had to align for it all to work out. Our offer on the new house was contingent on the sale of our starter home, and the sellers of the new house also had a contingent offer so they were hesitant to accept ours. We knew we needed to sell ours quickly. We put in some long days finishing up the landscaping that we’d slowly been making progress on for the previous four years as well as quite a bit of cleaning inside. Our hard work paid off because we had multiple offers within 24 hours of putting it on the market. After accepting one, there was still the matter of getting through inspections while avoiding any large expenses that would prevent our offer from being feasible.

One major cost that came up in the inspection was a broken window lock that was actually broken when we purchased the house. The window was in a room above the garage that didn’t qualify as a bedroom because of the size of the window. We had anticipated eventually replacing the window with the proper size, but weren’t ready for that expense. When we sold, though, the buyers wanted the entire window replaced as it’s not made any more and parts for it are unavailable. As a part of our counter offer, I fixed the window myself.

After looking closer at all the pieces of the locking mechanism, I discovered the only pieces that were broken were some plastic pieces that cracked after years of sun damage.

Small plastic parts were right up my alley. It was simply a matter of designing a couple suitable replacements that could be 3D printed! I designed a part and printed it on my MakerBot:

The locking mechanism fit well in the part that I printed, but had too much play between the part and the window frame, which prevented it from locking properly near the top of the window. I needed an extra piece to keep the latch from moving toward the frame of the window. Another print later and it was working!

If I spent a little more time tuning my 3D printer, I’m sure this would have been good enough. The layers of the parts started delaminating fairly quickly, though, so I took the next step and uploaded my designs to Shapeways and had them print them on their professional SLS printers.

The fix passed inspection by the new buyers and our house sold without any major issues! This allowed us to purchase our current home, which includes an amazing garage space for more projects. Stay tuned! :)

The parts I made can be freely downloaded or a 3D print can be purchased from my Shapeways shop: