If you were being ripped off overpaying for iphone docks or are willing to use 3D printed Orthotics then 3D printers can save a lot of money

A Michigan University researchers feels the typical family can already save a great deal of money by making things with a 3D printer instead of buying them off the shelf.

The big savings are for things like orthotics (custom insoles for shoes), iPhone docks, IPad stands and showers heads.

The likely scenario is that the prices of certain things where we are being ripped off will drop in price.

Pearce and his team chose 20 common household items listed on Thingiverse (a catalog of free designs).

Then they used Google Shopping to determine the maximum and minimum cost of buying those 20 items online, shipping charges not included.

Next, they calculated the cost of making them with 3D printers. The conclusion: it would cost the typical consumer from $312 to $1,944 to buy those 20 things compared to $18 to make them in a weekend.

Open-source 3D printers for home use have price tags ranging from about $350 to $2,000. Making the very conservative assumption a family would only make 20 items a year, Pearce’s group calculated that the printers would pay for themselves quickly, in a few months to a few years.

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