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One example of many: Repairing instead of throwing away in the Makerspace

Instead of simply replacing a damaged cover of a treadmill with a new part, student Leonard Strahl and Gerhard Ried, representative for university sports in Hof, came up with the idea of repairing the part – a small but fine example of the sustainable use of limited resources. They found help from René Göhring, the manager of the Makerspace.

Happy about the repaired cover of the treadmill: Gerhard Ried, university sports officer, and Leonard Strahl, media informatics student; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

“Instead of buying a new one for 500 euros, we glued the part with epoxy resin and repainted it,” says Göhring. A repair, which at first seems obvious, is now almost the exception in times of planned obsolescence – the planned wear and tear on almost all devices. Representative surveys show that a large proportion of consumers in Germany decide against repair. Often, repair orders are simply too expensive or the devices are deliberately encapsulated by the manufacturer to make repair more difficult and thus encourage the consumer to buy a new one. Many consumers also simply lack the expertise to make a repair. This trend leads to an enormous waste of resources.

“As a university, we have a role model function here – not only because the topic of sustainability and resource efficiency is of particular importance in Hof. The responsible use of raw materials is an imperative of our time,” finds Göhring, who set up the Makerspace and has been managing it for about three years. The Makerspace in the machine hall at Hof University of Applied Sciences is an open high-tech workshop with machines, tools and software and a place to go for anyone who likes to tinker or tinker.

Here, we not only support founders in building prototypes, but also want to encourage members of our university to get involved with new technologies such as 3D printing or craft activities.”

René Göhring

New: “Repair night” in the MakerSpace

The repair job by Leonard Strahl and Gerhard Ried was not the first of its kind. “We have such requests more often and are also happy to help,” he says. “With our equipment and know-how here in the MakerSpace, we can also help in many cases. Alone with our 3D printers or the laser cutter, many things are possible.” Combined with the demand, the idea has now arisen to make repairing the motto of an evening at the Makerspace – along the lines of the repair cafés. There, citizens can repair their defective devices under expert guidance and in a well-equipped environment.

“It’s a test balloon for now,” says René Göhring. “The offer is primarily intended for our students and we want to see if this meets with any response at all. So defective devices or objects can be brought along and we work together on a repair solution. The “repair evening” will take place at the end of May in the Makerspace. We will announce exact info in time.”

More about the MakerSpace and the startup ecosystem at Hof University of Applied Sciences….
More about the MakerSpace in the video …

Jörg Raithel

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