Buy A 3D Printer And Get Your Money Back A Tenfold In 5 Years
3D printer to the rescue! A new study performed by the Michigan Technological University has revealed that people who invest in a 3D printer and then replicate their own household items instead of buying them from the store, get their money back 1000% in just over 5 years.
People aren’t still completely convinced by a 3D printer because the technology is still relatively new and it hasn’t yet ingrained itself fully in the common consciousness. But if you were to tell a well-off businessman that he can get his money back on an investment within six months and then multiply it 10 times over the next 10 years, he would either think that’s a catch somewhere or if is the greatest investment ever. But since it’s not a scheme, but rather an object, there is no catch to be had. The good news is that almost everyone can just by buying a 3D printer.
The technology itself has really taken the world by storm and the future is definitely now. With a 3D printer, people can create musical instruments, electronics, all sorts of household items and pretty much anything that you can imagine.
The researchers at the Michigan Technological University, led by Professor Joshua Pearce have set out to determine just how good an investment a 3D printer really is. The research aimed to tackle the issue of first-time users and people who aren’t particularly tech-friendly, and see how they do. This is why the professor worked with Emily Petersen, an undergraduate student majoring in materials science and engineering, who ha no prior experience using a 3D printer.
“I’d never been up close and personal with a 3-D printer before,” Petersen says. “And the few printers I had seen were industrial ones. I thought learning to operate the printer was going to take me forever, but I was relieved when it turned out to be so easy.”
The printer they used is called Lulzbot Mini and it works with most operating systems and can support open-source hardware and software. This is important since you don’t have to spend any more money buying these. There already are may designs found on the internet for various objects.
The researchers focused on 26 random and everyday use objects from around the house. These included things like shower heads, snowboard binder clips, and tool holders among others. They then analysed the cost of each print and compared it to similar articles found in stores. They looked at both the cheapest and most expensive articles they could find and in both cases, the savings were immense.
when compared to the cheaper versions, the savings were at about 93% whereas the high-end stuff resulted in savings at about 98.65%. And once you get the hang of things, the process is as simple as choosing the item and the design you like and then click “print”.
“With the low-cost estimates, the printer pays for itself in three years and all the costs associated with printing — such as the price of plastic and electricity — are not only earned back but provide a 25 percent return on investment. After five years, it’s more than 100 percent,” Pearce says.
“With the high-cost estimates, the printer pays for itself within six months. And after five years, you’ve not only recouped all the costs associated with printing, you’ve saved more than $12,000.”
The experiment was carried out over a period of six months with the estimation that an average family would print about an item a week.The analysis also took into account the average lifespan of a 3D printer over a five-year long usage. Since this brand, in particular, is open source, all the upgrades and fixing is available for free online. Even the parts that may become damaged can be printed.
“I’m an engineering student,” Petersen says, “but I was new to this type of hands-on troubleshooting. The fact that I was able to troubleshoot any issues I had and produce 26 items relatively easily is a testament to how accessible this technology is to the average American consumer.”