Some of the 20 things Joshua Pearce's group made for pennies on the dollar using 3D printers. Credit:
Joshua Pearce/Michigan Technological University
An interesting article from redOrbit.com. A team from Michigan Technological University believes families can already begin saving money once they make the initial large purchase of a 3D Printer and start printing things they need at home.
The team selected 20 items which they believe are regular household products that would normally be purchased from a store or online. Items included a garlic press or acoustic guitar pick, many only need to be purchased once. Other items, such as a dock for the iPhones 4 and 5, may need to be replaced when these phones are replaced with newer models.
The Michigan team found similar items for sale using Google to determine a minimum and maximum cost without shipping. After considering several points, such as printing material and the energy used to print these items, the team calculated it would take anywhere from $300 to almost $2,000 to buy these items. They were able to make each of the 20 items on one 3D printing unit in a weekend, all for $18.
Aside from saving money, 3D Printer users are constantly sharing, improving and tweaking designs which are freely made available on sites like Thingiverse.com. If you can’t yet create a 3D CAD model to feed to a 3Dprinter, chances are you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for on www.thingiverse.com for free or you could ask someone to design it for you.
Designers have made things ranging from playable vinyl albums to miniature figurines to toilet seat bumpers using 3D printers and CAD models.