Feeds

Study finds open-source home 3D printer could save $2,000 a year

'Enormous potential wealth for everyone,' boffin claims

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A study by Michigan Technological University claims that the average US household could save itself up to $2,000 by printing their own products and parts instead of buying them from the store.

"With the exponential growth of free designs and expansion of 3D printing, we are creating enormous potential wealth for everyone," said professor Joshua Pearce, coauthor of the paper "Life-cycle economic analysis of distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printers", published in Mechatronics.

The study took 20 household objects, including cellphone accessories, a garlic press, and a showerhead, and calculated it would take between $312 to $1,944 to buy them on Google Shopping and have them delivered.

They compared this to the cost of buying a RepRap 3D printer, and calculated the same products could be made using $18 of printer supplies, 25 hours of production time, and a smidgeon of power. Under those circumstances the printer pays for itself in between four months and two years, depending on which 20 products are created every year.

"The unavoidable conclusion from this study is that the RepRap is an economically attractive investment for the average US household already," says the paper. "It appears clear that as RepRaps improve in reliability, continue to decline in cost and both the number and assumed utility of open-source designs continues growing exponentially, open-source 3-D printers will become a mass-market mechatronic device.

But there's a lot of wiggle-room in a study like this. This hack doubts US households buy that many spoon holders a year, although to be fair they are easy to make, thus their inclusion, one supposes. Also, $18 for supplies seems very low, considering the cost of such supplies on the market today.

But there's more to making an object than copying its outside appearance. A good garlic press, for example, needs a heavy cutting edge, a strong central hinge and handles that can take a lot of pressure if making a good ragu isn't to become an exercise in frustration. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.