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How to Save Money with 3D Printing

How to Save Money with 3D Printing

Did you know that if you simply printed this $0.50 toothpaste tube squeezer just one time, you could save yourself $0.60 per each tube of toothpaste you go through?! That’s a total savings of $540,000,000 worldwide if everyone had a 3D printed toothpaste squeezer. Is that enough to get you fired up on 3D printing? Probably not, but still pretty cool eh?

For most of us that are in the 3D world, we know the cost savings of 3D printing an item compared to purchasing it retail from a store.

Over the past couple years, FREE 3D models/content online has exploded. While most of the 3D world has been printing tchotchkes, cosplay creations, Yodas, and boats named Benchie, there are quite a few people actually using 3D printing on a day-to-day basis with function for daily activities. People are actually saving a ton of money per year printing items they would normally purchase at an average of 93% more¹.

Digital Trends wrote an article this year covering Michigan Tech Associate Professor Joshua Pierce, who has been working with 3D printers in order to make lab equipment. He has printed thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment in just a month’s time. You can download his “Life Cycle Economic Analysis of Distributed Manufacturing with Open Source 3D printers” if you are interested in learning more. He showed, utilizing a study with one of his undergraduate students, that you could save more than $12,000 over a printer’s 5-year life cycle, printing high end custom items like GoPro camera mounts to garlic presses.

The point here is that you can earn close to a big return on your 3D printer in a matter of a couple of years. This proves 3D printers can be much more than a luxury item for buyers. They can actually serve a purpose to save you money – and also create unique items that solve everyday problems. Double whammy!

Here are some other cost savings comparisons across 3D printed items vs buying them in retail:

GoPro camera mount

3D Printed Cost: $1.80

Retail Cost: $30

 

Shower head

3D Printed Cost: $2.55

Retail Cost: $30-$100

 

Garlic press

3D Printed Cost: $1.75

Retail Cost: $9.99

 

Amazon Alexa Mount

3D Printed Cost: $3.80

Retail Cost: $29.99

 

Charging dock for iPhone and iWatch

3D Printed Cost: $3.50

Retail Cost: $69.99

 

3D printed glasses frames

3D Printed Cost: $2

Retail Cost: $89.99

 

Paper towel holder/Toilet paper holder

3D Printed Cost: $2.26

Retail Cost: $11-$25

 

Jewelry organizer

3D Printed Cost: $1.20

Retail Cost: $9-$100

 

iPad Stand

3D Printed Cost: $0.50-$3.50

Retail Cost: $20-$75

 

Wine bottle holder

3D Printed Cost: $1.65

Retail Cost: $10-$50

 

¹https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/3d-printing-home-savings/

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