3D printing may be heralded for the ability to print everything from body parts to prosthetics, but the true breakthrough for the technology will come from the ability to print much simpler products, one researcher predicts.
Joshua Pearce, an associate professor at the Michigan Technological University, said 3D printing, a process that builds layers of plastic and other materials into a finished product, will go mainstream when consumers realize how much they can save from printing products they frequently use.
To prove this, Pearce and his research team picked 20 common household items that were listed on Thingiverse? a site that provides free designs for 3D printing? and compared the cost of printing those items with the cost of buying them. Items included smartphoneaccessories, a garlic press, a showerhead, spoon holder and more. Printing those items potentially saved consumers close to $2,000.