3D printers could 'pay for themselves' in just two months
New study by Michigan Technological University showed yearly savings of between $300 and $2,000
A new study has challenged the notion that 3D printers are too expensive to be useful to households. The study was conducted by Michigan Technological University and showed that a 3D printer had the potential to offer savings of up to $2,000 a year by printing everyday objects.
Using a low-cost 3D printer, the RepRap, researchers printed twenty open-source 3D designs ranging from mobile phone accessories to kitchen utensils. They calculated that the cost to purchase these items from shops would be between $300 and $2,000.
This figure was then compared with the costs of purchasing the printer, the materials, and the production time involved. From this they calculated that the printer would pay for itself between four months and two years.
The large margins involved obviously represent the different costs associated with different quality items, which brings to the mind a question not addressed by the research – in terms of quality, how do objects produced by the RepRap compare with their commercial counterparts.
The study concluded that 3D printers already represent “an economically attractive investment for the average US household”, but also noted that as the technology increases in reliability and decreases in cost “open-source 3-D printers will become a mass-market mechatronic device”.
The first commercially available 3D printer in the UK was launched last month. The Velleman K8200 went on sale at Maplin from £699.99, though it seems clear that such technology will not reach its full potential for many years.
A picture from the study showing some of the household objects printed by the RepRap. Image credit: Justin Plichta/Michigan Technological University
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Regin: Newly uncovered malicious software snooping since 2008 'was developed by a nation state'
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec: Google Doodle celebrates 150th anniversary of French artist
Tinder dating app being used more and more by middle-aged mums and dads
'Normal Barbie': Lammily, the 'realistic' doll with stretch marks, acne, and grass stains on her legs
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Langley James : Desktop Support Analyst; 1st Line; ...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role ...
$1250000 - $1750000 per annum, Benefits: Competitive Bonus: Selby Jennings: C+...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...