Household 3D printers pay for themselves in short order


#1

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#2

This seems exceedingly unlikely to me, given the current cost of materials for 3D printing. With the ABS filament for these things still costing something like $15/lb, it would be cheaper (for instance) to just buy dishes at Ikea than to print them yourself, even if you already had the printer. If these prices drop, then that changes things, but I think it's still a "wait and see" proposition, that.


#3

Whee! And we thought the destruction of print media by digital technology was a big deal! So long, entire world economy!


#4

I cant see myself ever really needing to 3d print anything outside of art projects, prove me wrong 3d printing technology, I dare you


#5

This study is BS. You would recover the cost in sex toys alone within a couple of days.


#6

I think the biggest problem here is that you get free two-day shipping from Amazon on the raw materials for your showerhead, but you also get it on a finished showerhead, so why bother printing one? I know the idea is that you're just going to keep 100lbs of raw plastic around to print things "on demand" but really, how often do you need a new purely plastic item right now? Not often enough to buy the printer. Sure, if you're designing your own 3D models to print yourself, then this is useful, but it's already useful for rapid prototyping and one-off custom items. Most people don't want to make those, though, they just want to take a shower.


#7

Unless I'm confused on the matter, that price is going to drop in about a year as patents expire.

Edit: http://boingboing.net/2013/07/22/get-ready-for-the-big-bang-as.html


#8

But I can still go to thrift shops and yard sales even if I start making all of my own cheap crap at home, right?


#9

This is a great point. Shipping is shipping no matter what form the matter takes. (within reason) but something has to be said for a vastly simplified manufacturing process where all the work is done at the last moment in the chain. You can even imagine a utility supplying raw materials to each building through pipes. It doesn't have to look like the current system at all. We do have to reinvent how we do things or perish, you know. (smiley face! chuckling emoticon! high five slapping little tiny picture!)


#10

Not sure what to make of all the whining that this technology hasn't yet disrupted mega-mass produced things like plastic tableware. Duh? In my experience, it's allowed specialty things to be made for things that otherwise would have been difficult to repair or replace. My last examples being the father-in-law's turntable cover hinge and temples for glasses...

3D printed repair


#11

This is asinine. How many of us spend $1000 in a few years on items that could be supplied by 3D printing (ie not consumables, clothing, toiletries, or detergents)? I've set up a comfortable home, lived a decade, and moved across the country, and I doubt I've spent half that on 3D-printable items, even including metal flatware. And that's not even accounting for the materials and maintenance costs of using the printer, and it's assuming well-curated libraries of extremely reliable designs. Maybe if you have small children with a constant demand for new plastic toys; maybe if you're doing a lot of home repairs. Otherwise, it may make sense to rent time on a convenient printer, and they could be fantastic for light industry. Stores may even manufacture goods instead of stocking them. But the economic argument for a $1000 printer in a home that maybe spends a few hundred on theoretically printable goods in an unusually expensive year is clearly nuts.


#12

I have a 3D printer (I built myself). The novelty has worn off at this point.
The real value of 3D printing is making things you can't buy at a store. I made busts of my kids with a kinect scanner and gave them as presents to relatives. Most common things that can be 3D printed can also be bought in a higher quality injection molded form.

3D home printing is like building your own cheap furniture. You might have fun but someone down the street is probably giving the same thing away for free.


#13

Agreed, the last thing we need is more stuff. Mindsets nowadays think about environmental and health affects of our products. How sustainable is this product?


#14

I don't believe it, not at the current tech level and price point. Cheap soft resin junk is not useful for most household purposes. Cheap brittle hard sintered powder junk is likewise not very useful. Strong materials and good tolerances are needed for household utility, like for example threading a plumbing attachment without leaking or rupturing, or bearing a bit of a load or manual force without shattering or being ground into dust. Someday household object printing may be useful for something apart from toys, but I don't think it's there yet.


#15

You're so right. Righter than you can possibly know! There are virtually no economists or policy makers who can fathom the impact this will have, nor the high probability of it occurring.

Bunch o' dunces.


#16

But imagine when you do need something. A new hamster food bowl, a lawn mower blade, a car mirror.

These printers don't just disintermediate every middle man in the global value chain - they strip them out and toss them aside like little bones after Godzilla's lunch.


#17

You can't possibly make a lawn-mower blade on any cheap home 3D printer at present. It would shatter when you turn on the engine, if it even fit the rotor attachment in the first place due to the crappy tolerances of cheap printers. Some day, maybe, but not today....


#18

And besides, Who would ever need a calculating machine at home. It is abzurd.


#19

A 3-D printer can't currently print any of those except a hamster food bowl, which you could more easily re-purpose or make from other junk lying around the house.


#20

yeah, its an important and usefull tool for people who need it, but its hard to imagine most people being into it