Volunteers of the Solid State Depot Boulder Hackerspace, along with Eco-Cycle, coached and assisted citizens of the Boulder, Colorado area in need of electronic equipment repair as part of the Fix-It Clinic event on Sunday, August 11th. By not only helping fix, but also helping teach and educate by demonstration, the Solid State Depot volunteer fix-it coaches aided those from the community in the process and approaches required to fix their appliances instead of throwing them out.
The Fix-It Clinic coaches repaired appliances vacuums, toasters, two blenders, a scanner, and various other appliances. Of note was a broken plastic part for a blender. To replace it, Solid State Depot member Rob Bryan rapidly, algorithmically defined and modeled a replacement part using OpenSCAD, and then Bryant Hadley handled the 3D printing of the modeled part at the hackerspace.
This is even more recently relevant, since last month Colorado followed suit with 19 other states and banned the dumping of electronic waste into its landfills. Notably, the health risks associated from heavy metals from various electronics potentially escaping out of the landfills and into groundwater has prompted this movement. There are electronic waste handling facilities, but the processes required to recycle the electronic equipment can also be rather toxic. Thus, by repairing instead of disposing, we reduce the negative impact upon our environment.
Facilities such as the Solid State Depot offer an important venue in the community — allowing people to get together and have access to tools and resources for tinkering, creating, making, and repairing that are often collectively too costly and take up too much space for most individuals to have all in one spot. In the end, fun and excitement was had by all in the exploration and discovery of the household devices around us all.