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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. 

Source: Science Daily

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RE: But, Does Anyone Actually Need Those Parts?
By dgingerich on 7/30/2013 5:53:06 PM , Rating: 0
I'm self educated. I refused to let the educational regime squash my imagination as they do to so many others. :) They game me straight Cs all through elementary, jr high, and high school, despite that I tested with a 170 IQ in my Mensa entrance exam. I can't stand the educational establishment. I get straight As in all my college classes except English Comp. The English professors keep failing me on complete BS reasons. My papers are near perfect, but they do things like mark off 40% of my grade for forgetting to italicize one word on the title of a reference, claiming it is a totally invalid reference because of that one little mistake, or a claim of "I don't like how this argument is formulated" while marking off 30% on an assignment on writing instructions. (I wrote how to assemble a computer. That comment marked my description on how to work on a computer while grounded to keep static to a minimum. I still don't know what she meant by that, over 20 years later.) That poke at public education wasn't over someone who might be less educated because of not attending a high end school. It was a poke at US education in general and the way the system squashes and punishes imagination and creativity.

As for how often I replace gears, with my family, it is often. My mom and dad both tend to break things. They don't usually tell me about it, though, and I find them using broken appliances when I visit. There have been many times I've had to pay >$50 for simple little plastic replacement parts, especially on dishwashers and vacuum cleaners, but that was before ebay came along. (Dyson has some hard parts to find, too.)

I haven't had to repair anything for my mom in quite a while, come to think of it. I guess she's getting majorly frustrated less often with my sisters out of the house.

My dad, on the other hand, has managed to break the housing on every single garage door remote in the last couple months, replacing the batteries. He didn't see the coin slot and pried them open from the wrong end.

I still had to replace the gears that hold the dishwasher door up at my younger sister's place recently. Her husband and kids tend to overload the dishwasher badly, and then the door mechanism breaks. That was the third time in the last 2 years. I keep getting on them about it, but they don't listen. This last time, the door leaked and got water all over the floor because that mechanism was broken. It's one stupid little 3.5" plastic gear that causes the action to both hold the door in a horizontal position when open and presses the door to seal when closed. a 3d printer would help a lot with that one. That 3.5" gear, printed flat where all the layers would be on every tooth, would probably be able to hold as well as the one Samsung makes.

By ClownPuncher on 7/30/2013 6:49:05 PM , Rating: 3
No, you are failing English because you aren't very good at it.

RE: But, Does Anyone Actually Need Those Parts?
By dgingerich on 7/31/2013 11:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
OK, and do you have two short stories published? I did back in 1993 in Omni Magazine. Do you have political articles published? I did a run of 9 editorial articles in the Denver Post back in 1994. I decided I didn't want to do it for a living. (Honestly, it was more fun to work retail than write all the time, but in 1997 I got into computer support, which was even more fun.) My English grammar, spelling, and punctuation were just fine back then.

By ClownPuncher on 7/31/2013 11:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
I was just judging by your previous post, which was full of errors. Calm that ego.

By Just Tom on 8/5/2013 4:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
I will not comment on any of your other claims but you are lying about your publications in Omni. Omni published very little fiction and the only fiction writer published twice was Joyce Carol Oates. And I doubt you are Joyce Carol Oates.

Here is the list of fiction stories with the authors and issues published.

Fiction: Sacred Cow (pg 56)
by Bruce Sterling

Fiction: The Battle of Long Island (pg 62)
by Nancy Kress

Fiction: Like My Dress (pg 58)
by Kit Reed

Fiction: The Diane Arbus Suicide Portfolio (pg 58)
by Marc Laidlaw

Fiction: Grand Prix (pg 58)
by Simon Ings

Fiction: England Underway (pg 58)
by Terry Bisson

Fiction: Mrs. Jones (pg 58)
by Carol Emshwiller

Fiction: Art Appreciation (pg 62)
by Barry N. Maltzberg and Jack Dann

No fiction
Fiction: Thanksgiving (pg 78)
by Joyce Carol Oates

Fiction: The Relativity of Chaos (pg 70)
by Michaela Roessner, Connie Willis, and John Kesselby Joyce Carol Oates

By inighthawki on 7/30/2013 7:13:38 PM , Rating: 3
My papers are near perfect

lol. Of course they are. And all your English profs are out to get you.

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