|By Shelly Palmer||
|August 9, 2013 03:01 AM EDT||
While the cost of 3D printers is dropping all the time, buying one is still a pretty significant financial investment, especially if you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your budget. But if you’ve been thinking about buying a 3D printer, a new study suggests: yeah, you probably should. Researchers at Michigan Technological University looked at 20 common household items – things like smartphone cases and kitchen accessories – and calculated that 3D printers can pay for themselves within a single year. The researchers looked at the lowest and highest prices for all of those items and figured out how much it would cost to print one of each. The total cost ranged from $312 to almost $2,000, but a 3D printer would be able to manufacture all 20 items for just $18. Sure, 3D printers can be expensive, but if you find yourself in need of small – yet costly – knickknacks here and there, being able to create those parts yourself can save you a lot of money in the long run.