Study: Using 3D Printers for Household Products Could Save Hundreds of Dollars
July 30, 2013 1:21 PM
comment(s) - last by
3D printers are now more affordable and easy to use
Three-dimensional printers were once considered too expensive to be part of the typical home's collection of gadgets, but a new study says that idea is changing.
Michigan Technological University researchers -- led by associate professor Joshua Pearce -- have found that it could be cheaper for
households to buy a 3D printer
and create their own products than to buy them from stores.
Three-dimensional printers take materials, such as plastic, and create products by printing layer upon layer from the bottom up, following a specific design.
Pearce and his team came to this conclusion by identifying 20 common products found in the typical American home. They used the website Thingiverse, which offers free designs of these products for 3D printers.
After choosing the 20 designs, they looked at Google Shopping to see what the highest and lowest prices were for these items if they were to be purchased online (minus shipping charges).
They then looked at the costs of purchasing the material for the 3D printer to use for product creation, and compared this data with the Google Shopping prices.
The result was that the average American household would spend anywhere between $312 and $1,944 for the 20 chosen products online as opposed to just $18 if they made them with the 3D printer.
The 3D printers themselves cost anywhere from $350 to $2,000. Pearce said the 3D printer would pay for itself anywhere from a few months to a few years time.
"For the average American consumer,
3D printing is ready for showtime
," said Pearce. "Say you are in the camping supply business and you don't want to keep glow-in-the-dark tent stakes in stock. Just keep glow-in-the-dark plastic on hand, and if somebody needs those tent stakes, you can print them."
"It would be a different kind of capitalism, where you don't need a lot of money to create wealth for yourself or even start a business."
Pearce said the fact that prices are starting to come down for 3D printers, and the fact that it no longer requires an engineer to figure out how to use one, will make 3D printers more ubiquitous in the home in the coming years.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: But, Does Anyone Actually Need Those Parts?
7/30/2013 3:46:28 PM
It's not ready for primetime yet. While these professors might be in possesion of a Phd, they could use a bit more common sense.
I don't even want to print out a new phone cover. I like the sturdyness of the default one and honestly i couldn't care less. It's a phone cover. Why an Iphone cover anyway, and not an android cover? Is it so they could pad the list with docks and iPads?
Now dinner plates, there's something interesting. Print out new ones with a new design each week and keep the wife happy. That alone will be worth the $2000 spent on a printer.
Thing is though for that there have to be more studies into the safety of these materials. I do wanna know if dinner plates made by 3D printers would melt either in the dishes or with a hot meal on them, or worse if they "give off ink" onto the food.
Also recycling is a big issue. Cooking with oil for instance means the oil could soak into the material of the dinnerplate. It wouldn't be possible for consumers to recycle that material without contaminating the rest of the "toner" so there'd have to be some sort of garbage collection to a central point where the impurities can be taken out and the material can be more easily converted back into a usable state. This in turn can lower the price of the material in the store, and a lower cost automatically means more uses.
As well as there not being any supporting economy yet. Your average joe has no clue how to work 3D modeling software (i'll bet most people on this site even don't know how to actually work with it). But he can download a design from a website. Similairly, there need to be several electro-engines of standard size and power, which have been taken into account into the 3D designs with moving parts and can be purchased locally, in order to get simple moving designs such as a deskfan. You're not gonna reach mass adoption with merely static objects and customization.
3D printing will be ready for prime time when your average joe can go to the store, buy a couple of standard engines that plug right into the socket, buy a 3D printer with some toner, then go home and print/assemble himself a deskfan within 15 minutes. As well as print dinner plates to eat off without any health hazards. Then when he's done with it throw it all (except the engine) in the printer-trash and just print new stuff for less then a buck.
RE: But, Does Anyone Actually Need Those Parts?
7/31/2013 12:18:45 PM
"Now dinner plates, there's something interesting. Print out new ones with a new design each week and keep the wife happy. That alone will be worth the $2000 spent on a printer."
But would they be as sturdy or as nice as the higher end materials used by companies like Corning?
Not to mention the negative environmental impact from a surge consumption brought about by 3D printing.
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
Staples Now Selling 3-D Printers Online, First Fully 3-D Printed Gun Tested
May 6, 2013, 9:41 AM
HP to Release New Mobile, 3D Printing Products
September 12, 2011, 12:02 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Most Popular Articles
America's Largest Cable Company, Comcast, Sees Internet Subscriptions Pass TV
May 4, 2015, 2:46 PM
The Pirate Bay Loses Its Iconic Swedish Dot SE Domains
May 20, 2015, 6:31 PM
Google Finally Fixes Maps Bug That Was Giving Racist, Profane Results
May 21, 2015, 1:43 PM
Can id Software's Doom Find Its Way Out of a 7+ Year Development Hell?
May 19, 2015, 7:38 PM
Chromebooks Expected to See Sales Grow 26 Percent to 7.3 Million Units This Year
May 22, 2015, 1:26 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information