Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
by Staff Writers
Houghton, Mich. (UPI) Jul 30, 2013
Families may someday save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by making their own household items with a 3D printer, a U.S. researcher says.
Personal manufacturing, like personal computing before it, is about to go mainstream in a big way, Michigan Technological University Professor Joshua Pierce says.
"For the average American consumer, 3D printing is ready for showtime," he said in a university release Tuesday.
3D printers deposit multiple layers of plastic or other materials to make almost anything, from toys to tools to kitchen gadgets, and free designs the printers can create are available on the Internet by the thousands, he said.
While 3D printers are not exactly household items yet, that is changing fast, Pearce said, as prices will eventually fall from thousands of dollars to hundreds.
Pearce and his team chose 20 common household items like a shower head, spoon holder and garlic press available as 3D printer files on the Internet, then used Google Shopping to determine the minimum and maximum cost of buying those 20 items online, shipping charges not included.
Next, they calculated the cost of making them with 3D printers.
Their conclusion: it would cost the typical consumer from $312 to $1,944 to buy those 20 things, compared with $18 to print them in a weekend.
Even if a family only made 20 items a year, Pearce and his colleagues said they calculated the printers would pay for themselves quickly, in a few months to a few years.
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|