3D Printing saves you money
A RepRap 3D Printer next to a bundle of cash representing money saved.
A study on Science Direct a couple of weeks back had us worrying about the health and safety issues with home 3D printing, but this latest study on the site may prick the interest in the more frugal of home 3D printers.
According to a study by researchers at Michigan Technology University (MTU) 3D printing in the home could pay for itself within a year and could potentially save the average home up to $2,000 a year by avoiding the purchase of household items.
“The results show that even making the extremely conservative assumption that the household would only use the printer to make the selected twenty products a year the avoided purchase cost savings would range from about $300 to $2000/year.”
The corresponding author on the piece is Joshua Pearce, whose research group released the files of their RecycleBot on Thingiverse and are working on the reducing the carbon footprint of 3D printing by trying to create a solar powered printer.
This study focuses on the open source RepRap community of printers rather than the high-end MakerBots of the desktop 3D printing world. It takes the highest and lowest retail price of 20 items that can be printed on an open-source 3D printer and compares the RRPs to the costs of printing material and electricity. For example the lowest retail price you could pay for a garlic press is $5.22 and the highest is $10.25, to print on a working garlic press cost just $1.61 is a saving of $3.61 and $8.64 respectively.
Although this may all seem like wishful thinking with the current crop of 3D printers (I’d hate to try print a working shower head) as they improve and as the costs falls, it seems like this will be the main reason people would want to have a printer in their homes. We just hope their homes are well ventilated…