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Friday, March 4, 2016

Home 3D Printing?

A Year of 3D Printing in the Home: Does It Live Up to the Hype?

Andrew David Thaler | March 2, 2016

3D Printing. No new technology in the last decade has been heralded with as much hope and hyperbole as the promise of desktop replicators fabricating whatever object you need at the push of a button. 3D printing has made huge steps forward, with more sophisticated machines at lower prices, new materials that vastly expand the printer’s capabilities, and the breathless optimism that foresees a printer in every home, as mundane and easy to operate as a conventional printer.

What if consumerism wasn’t sexy anymore? Are we shifting away from consumerism towards creativism? What are the tools that will help us to understand this shift? Are the 3D experiences that are being pushed into our lives a sign of a fundamental shift in values similar to the linear perspective that was invented in the Renaissance to help Humanists represent their values? Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (A 3-D Pritner Can Pay for Itself in less than a year. August 1,2013) and (Household uses for your desktop 3D printer [Part 1]. March 2015. [See for Part 2 and for Part 3.]); further: (Life-cycle economic analysis of distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printers. B.T. Wittbrodta, A.G. Glovera, J. Lauretoa, G.C. Anzaloneb, D. Oppligerc, J.L. Irwind, and J.M. Pearcea. MechatronicsVolume 23, Issue 6, September 2013, Pages 713–726.[Abstract: The recent development of open-source 3-D printers makes scaling of distributed additive-based manufacturing of high-value objects technically feasible and offers the potential for widespread proliferation of mechatronics education and participation. These self-replicating rapid prototypers (RepRaps) can manufacture approximately half of their own parts from sequential fused deposition of polymer feedstocks. RepRaps have been demonstrated for conventional prototyping and engineering, customizing scientific equipment, and appropriate technology-related manufacturing for sustainable development. However, in order for this technology to proliferate like 2-D electronic printers have, it must be economically viable for a typical household. This study reports on the life-cycle economic analysis (LCEA) of RepRap technology for an average US household. A new low-cost RepRap is described and the costs of materials and time to construct it are quantified. The economic costs of a selection of 20 open-source printable designs (representing less than 0.02% of those available), are typical of products that a household might purchase, are quantified for print time, energy, and filament consumption and compared to low and high Internet market prices for similar products without shipping costs. The results show that even making the extremely conservative assumption that the household would only use the printer to make the selected 20 products a year the avoided purchase cost savings would range from about $300 to $2000/year. Assuming the 25 h of necessary printing for the selected products is evenly distributed throughout the year these savings provide a simple payback time for the RepRap in 4 months to 2 years and provide an ROI between >200% and >40%. As both upgrades and the components that are most likely to wear out in the RepRap can be printed and thus the lifetime of the distributing manufacturing can be substantially increased the unavoidable conclusion from this study is that the RepRap is an economically attractive investment for the average US household already. It appears clear that as RepRaps improve in reliability, continue to decline in cost and both the number and assumed utility of open-source designs continues growing exponentially, open-source 3-D printers will become a mass-market mechatronic device.]) >

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