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

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 …

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3D Printing stuff you don't need in the first place isn't a savings

Think of all the money we spent to save money on an item we don't actually need!

Makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff that is "50% off This Weekend Only!" I don't need any of that either, but...THINK OF THE SAVINGS!

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Happy

Re: 3D Printing stuff you don't need in the first place isn't a savings

When my grandmother died we were cleaning out her house and I found an entire gross of hammer handles. I asked my dad why the hell granny had 144 brand new hammer handles. He said she bought them because thy were on sale for just .05 cents each...

I suppose there's a big enough crowd that will print and hoard shower heads and sporks. Survival nutters will probably like the idea: Thousands of collapsible drinking cups and water bottles.

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And Suddenly

You need a gun, the printer will save you $1000.......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And Suddenly

You mean you don't have one already ?

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Re: And Suddenly

And suddenly you need another gun.......

Better?

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Childcatcher

Re: And Suddenly

I suppose it depends on the number of zombies, no? Add to that the given state of the art of printed guns and perhaps another is never enough.

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So?

So you have your p[inter and you have the plastic, or whatever. Now, where do you find the date input? All printers need data, and it certainly doesn't come with the manual You'll be lucky to get a diagramatic outline, in perspective. Or do you just ring the manufacturer and ask nicely for the CAD files of the part you want to print. I have a well equipped workshop, but would need to spend an age of time with measuring tools before I could come up with a working drawing detailed enough to make something that works.

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Re: So?

The whole movement is headed towards licensed and/or one time use files of your project. By the time the lawyers are through with it I fully expect most consumer printers will be catalog driven: Select your product, pay the fee and print.

It simply isn't worth your time to print household goods anyway. Weird one off parts are one thing, but a consumer device is never going to reach the production scale where it would be cost effective vs just buying the required widget.

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Showerhead?

My shower heads are still the originals, it's the hoses that keep needing replacement!

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Re: Showerhead?

It can print threads? And holes?

I expect you would need to cut threads, and drill the holes.

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Re: Showerhead?

Surprisingly, it can. I've seen them (a more expensive commercial one that cost about $20K) print a device with moving parts - gears that move, etc. I was assuming there was some sort of finishing step required, but was just print and go. A showerhead, even one of the nice adjustable ones, would be a doddle for this thing.

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Meh

another overhype

yep, printing plastic with low strength is going to be so useful, NOT. It would be nice to be able to make new plaki covers for electronic devices, but until one has a nice furnace to melt alloys and iron so the 3D objects can be used to make molds, not much use at all. For design and engineering firms which have the ability to take light molds and make serious hard components 3D printers may be great. I wonder if a wax using 3D printer is around. Lost wax method has been used for centuri8es to make good castings.

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+ 100 rightful cynicism for Iain Thomson

(how come we can't rate articles any more?)

Even better, it seems that I can manufacture $2000 worth of saleable goods for just $18 from my home printer! And undercut all those inefficient big manufacturers who waste their money on R&D!

Where's the Scrooge McDuck $$$ icon?

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It's unlikely that they have accounted for all the production costs in this study. In particular, making the assumption that designs for things that people will actually need will remain free is at best tenuous.

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IP rights

Savings from printed faucet handle: $20

Lawsuit from Kohler for reproducing their design w/o permission: $120,000

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Labour cost

assuming the people making these objects are also doing at least *some* designing themselves, and uploading their efforts (isn't that what open source is all about? Give *and* take?) then the equivalent cost of labour needs to be factored in. There's no point in saving yourself $4.50 by designing and making your own garlic press if you had to take a day off work @$30p/h in order to design, refine and build it (not to mention learning CAD skills, how to operate/set up the machine, etc.

As a hobby it makes sense, hell I'd love to fiddle with one once the price becomes a bit more accessible, but as a true cost saving device the argument is very shaky.

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Re: Labour cost

Bingo, most of the replacement parts I buy are metal and while I could easily print out a wax form for casting it's much easier to hit the local hardware store and buy, let's say, a ball valve for $4.87 than it would be to model, print and cast the same thing. Talk to me about a cheap SLS machine and you've got my attention but the current hobby status is just that.

Consider in the past three years I've spent a total of $16-20 on plastic parts ranging from shower handles to cupboard door catches but I'd have to be pretty ham-handed to need to buy a hundred times that in a single year. Note that includes the things a certain fuzzy one has gnawed to bits during that time, albeit less so now with a proper set of teeth.

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