Anyone who owns a desktop 3D printer knows that sometimes you need to replace some of the components to optimize performance. In many cases you can simply 3D print a replacement part with your 3D printer which is an incredibly rewarding process of self sufficiency but when it is a critical component that stops the 3D printer from functioning properly it can quickly become frustrating dead end.
Shapeways community member Schlem discovered the extruder gears that came with his Printbot Kit were warped and his 3D printer was not functioning properly. Of course a non functioning 3D printer can not 3D print repair parts so he used Shapeways to 3D print his replacement parts in laser sintered Nylon. By using Shapeways to 3D print the parts for his 3D printer he now has a more durable, higher resolution part that will make his desktop 3D printer more accurate and reliable.
He also made it possible to make the 3D printer even more awesome by designing the Skulltruder, adding a little gothic bling to what is essentially an engineering project.
If you have any 3D parts to share on Shapeways, be sure to tag them '3D Printer' and the type of 3D printer they are for so others can easily find them and repair their 3D printer too.