I have a Makerbot Replicator 2 and while amazingly fast and accurate, it will take a very long time before it will save me money compared to what it cost me to purchase. However, there are instances when designing and printing your own solution can save you money in general. I have a nylon windshield wheel guide off a 1982 porsche 928s that broke. Cost to purchase tiny wheel $48, cost to print .35cents. I have a friends who is into cycling mainly high cost carbon fiber bikes. Some of the small parts are ridiculously high. Printing replacements to those would be simple and cheap.
Is it the same article with the list with all iPhone extra gadgets that no one wants to print? If yes it is a false article.
BUT these machines ARE going to be an investment and not just an unnecessary expense like many stuff we are buying really often. I can't wait for 3D printers to start filling the shop shelves, to become REALLY mainstream devices like the 2D printers we are using today.
Holy cow, people. I worked in plastics for a while. Most plastics are not food grade, so you can't make cups and plates out of it and not increase your risk of numerous things, but mostly cancer.
Also, these printers run on one kind of plastic (usually ABS... the stuff your monitor's frame is made out of) so you can't make things that require a different set of mechanical properties. The cellphone case is a poor example because the plastic isn't flexible enough to even get the phone in the case.
Stupid article from someone who thinks he's a thinker. Isn't it funny how "thinkers" get really excited about the stuff other "thinkers" say. We're doomed as a society.
Well... if we keep the discussion limited to the home-use 3d printers, then we're as limited as we've all described in our comments. Industrial printers have all sorts of different capabilities that aren't nearly as limited but the lay man doesn't have $180K to buy a printer... and there's no way they'll recoup that cost at home.
Stick a shed load of eBay ads for abs components like cogs, frames, etc that usually sell for $5 or more, then sell them for $2 yourself, you will get thousands of orders and make back the cost of the printer and maybe even enough to give up work - for a couple of years - till world+dog owns a 3D printer and nobody buys abs parts online anymore or the cost is driven so low that it just isn't worth making them. Likely anything made from abs will have its design patented so a home user will print for personal use but if they try to sell it the original company will sue you into the ground.
Kenyee, the templates for objects will likely be protected files that will have to purchased the same way you buy music from iTunes, buy once and use as many times as you want - but like with all things someone will break the copy protection and templates will float around your favourite torrent sites - if it's a design for an espresso cup as per the video I doubt they will have a cost because it's just a cup, but some items will have intrinsic value from their shape alone, Apple will find a way to patent design of some 3D printed items or the first you hear about it will be a court case where they sue someone's ass off for producing a template of an ABS apple. I'm not saying I like the way this is heading, but as soon as something starts to look cool someone will always try to lock it down and monetize it.
Thingiverse has over 130,000 free files for all kinds of this household stuff already designed so you really dont need to know CAD. Most home printers can now print in PLA, which is both fine for precision like my snap fit phone case - but is also foodsafe and compostible....sorry Chinese factory workers....times r'a changin.