As the holidays get going, I’ve been doing some deep cleaning, readying my home to host festivities. Organizing, sorting, finally putting laundry away, and — of course — vacuuming the rugs and carpets. One of the trickiest parts about vacuuming is always making sure you have all the right accessories.
Hoover, the world-famous vacuum manufacturer whose very name is synonymous with “vacuum” in many parts of the world, has announced a new partnership today, December 22nd. Hoover and MakerBot have teamed up to offer the very latest in home cleaning — and home 3D printing. These two leaders in their respective industries have created a collection of print-on-demand accessories for your Hoover vacuum cleaners, available on Thingiverse.
“3D printing at home will offer unique opportunities for brands like Hoover,” the Global Vice President of Product Development for Hoover, Paul Bagwell, said. “We wanted to explore those opportunities early in the development of the technology. We are driven by innovation that meets consumers’ needs, and we are continually evaluating new technology that may help deliver this.”
The pilot program, which has been a consideration for some time, is up and running today with the first two official accessories available now. Hoover has been working under the “rethink cleaning” mantra for some time in their development efforts, and incorporating 3D design and printing certainly reimagines what’s been possible so far. With the very first vacuum cleaner coming onto the scene just over a century ago, in 1908, cleaning your house has only continued to get more automated and more focused on what modern consumers really want.
Today’s consumers have much more technology at their fingertips: that increasingly includes desktop 3D printers. “Rethink cleaning” expanded upon this idea, bringing together the ideas of what people want with what the people can do. Print-on-demand vacuum accessories seemed a natural progression from that basis, and partnering with MakerBot was logical. Thingiverse offers the world’s largest repository of 3D printable design files.
The first two accessories available on Thingiverse are mounts: a flashlight mount and a snap-on battery mount. Both were designed with the new Hoover Air Cordless upright vacuum in mind.
“Our new Air Cordless vacuum felt like a great fit for this new and innovative 3DPrinting technology,” writes the company.
The Hoover Air Cordless upright vacuum has an extension wand to enable nook-and-cranny cleaning. That’s incredibly useful — but mostly so when you can see into those nooks. After 3D printing the mount from Thingiverse, you can loop rubber bands through hooks and mount virtually any flashlight onto the wand. Suddenly there is light, and cleaning just got that much easier. The mount also works with the Hoover Air Ultra Lite and Hoover Air Pro vacuum models.
In addition to the extension wand, the Hoover Air Cordless comes with an extra LithiumLife battery. In response to customer desire for a way to keep the extra battery on-board, Hoover designed the mount to snap on to the upper portion of the vacuum’s cleaning wand. They recommend facing the mount backwards, though it can also be front-oriented while cleaning.
These two designs appear to be only the beginning of a beautiful new partnership. Together with MakerBot, Hoover vacuum cleaners can be customized and adapted to best meet their users’ needs. Hoover notes that more designs will be released next spring in a “set of exclusive tools designed to complement the way you clean.”
What do you think about this new partnership? Let us know in the Hoover and MakerBot forum thread over at 3DPB.com.