3D Printers? You may have read about them in a tech blog, saw one on the news, or even come face to face with one in a store, at school or at a friend’s house. What did it make you think? After all it’s not everyday or even every generation, a new device is developed and available for home use, which can produce prosthetic arms, toys, replacement parts, home décor, and the occasional Yoda-like statuette
Have you asked yourself, “Why do I need a 3Dprinter?” Here are 5 reasons to help you think about the “I Do!”
But wait, two facts that you should know before you read on:
- 3D Printer prices are dropping and to find a good 3D Printer at less than $1000 dollars is not as challenging as it was, just a few months ago.
- Possibly the best part about 3D Printing is how inexpensive it is to print! A 1 kilo spool of good material, which is called filament, runs between $15- $25 and is enough to 3D print dozens of products (depending on size) . Almost anything you print will cost you less in material (filament) than what it would cost you to purchase in a store. Now you can print items you would not have purchased because they are not easy to find or they are beyond your budget!
without further ado
My 5 top reasons:
- 3D Printers are Family Time Fun.
Not the first thing you would think about, right? Well, think again. We see it happen all the time in test groups. What should I create/print with it? photo frames to help you create your family wall, a set of puppets for story time, masks for costume parties and dress-up playtime, a unique piece of jewelry? With your 3D Printer there is always something to print for everyone in the family. Print time for designs range from minutes to overnight, this is where family dynamics kicks and who gets to print what and when, becomes the new topic of discussion and real world interactions. One family I know told me since they started 3D printing at home, “every morning is like Christmas, the kids run out of bed to see what was printed overnight.” In an age where people spend more time facing screens than each other, the 3D Printer can bridge the gap between cyber and physical interaction in a whole new way.
*one of our user’s creative use of 3DShook’s frames
- The Perfect DIYer and Interior Design Companion:
New light fixtures for the living room? A birdhouse for your garden? Colorful planters for your window sills? The possibilities for decorating your home, garden and office become endless with a 3D printer and access to the right designs. Using customization features you can make anything fit or personalize designs to add the right touch of “you” to them. *Added bonus: as it’s inexpensive to print, you can quickly redecorate according to season, holidays and special occasions.
*BYRD birdhouse from the Gardens & Plants category
- It’s a Brave New World of Fixes, Lifehacks and Replacement Parts:
The growing global community of makers keep adding more solutions and fixes to anything you can think of and what no one would ever think of! Connectors, mechanisms, holders, hangers and oh so many more small specific solutions to common situations, your head will spin! Where are we headed with this? Let’s just say that companies will soon email you the designs to the replacement part needed or product improvements and with just a few clicks you will be printing them. The future is right around the corner. Actually it is here, now.
*LifeHack for glass shutter at my place by Tal Mor
*IKEA fitting closet bar holder from Thingiverse perfectly placed in my closet
4. The 3D Printer is the Ultimate Gift Machine:
Everyone loves giving gifts to friends, family, colleagues, and even to ourselves. Housewarmings, graduations, birthdays, weddings, holidays, parties and so many more occasions, with a 3D Printer and the right designs you have a world of original, beautiful, useful, personalized and inexpensive perfect gifts. It is the ultimate gift machine. How about a smart-phone amplifier? A Tablet holder? Beads to make unique jewelry? Or a beautiful vase to match those Valentines roses ? There is a gift design for every occasion available. Hey, you can even print the gift box!
*our incredible WUB smartphone amp
5. Your 3D Printer is a Source of Income:
Once you have mastered the skill of 3D printing design files and your results have graduated to the pro level (and yes they will improve with experience, probably faster than you expect) you can sign up to a printing service like 3Dhubs to monetize your new hobby. 3DHubs is a global network of 3D printers owned by individuals and studios who are willing, at a price, to print for other people. For example if Joe from Orlando needs to print something, he will search for a printer nearest to him on the network, pay and pick up the print. As printers are still not completely mainstream, this can very well become a profitable gig!
There are many more reasons why I think that everyone should have a 3D printer, but these top five are a good place to start.
If you found it interesting and helpful, or have any questions, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (we’re always on!)
Dan Cassidy / 3DShook