So what, it’s 3D printed. Is it any cheaper?

You know the saying: I spent months gardening just to save $2.17 in tomatoes!

 

 

We live in a maker-crazed world filled with the illusion of needing to remain occupied with fidget spinners. So, what gives on 3D printing almost everything? Is there a cost benefit?

We’re all reading and writing the same things, so it becomes this vortex of similar content that can be hard to sift through. Can we find the reality of benefits to DIY? Should you make it yourself or just BUY IT?

 

It’s 3D printed, so what?!?!

 

We dove into the maker space to analyze 3D printing/designing yourself and buying off the shelf. This particular example will be the overnight sensation — the fidget spinner.

 

 

Apples to apples? Of course not. The great benefit of 3D printing is getting to add your own spin on things. Get it? Spin? I crack myself up. Anyway, fidget spinners can be uniquely designed with DIY solutions or purchased already assembled. But what makes financial sense?

 

DIY – 3D printed Fidget Spinner cost breakdown

(FYI..This is one example of many out there in internet land)

 

Design cost of a fidget spinner – Our hourly design cost is $65. We will say design cost is one hour for this exercise. Others charge differently, including you, but NEVER estimate zero for your cost. You and your design time are worthy of a price!

$65 design cost distributed over an estimated quantity of products to sell. Let’s keep it simple at 100 units.

$65/100 = .65

 

3D printing the fidget spinner base – Here we go. The meat of our discussion. Another disclaimer: Each printer will have an operating cost (again, even you don’t work for free!) as well as filament cost variations and printer cost variations. We are using the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle here. Let’s bypass our own printers and go straight to Shapeways. Why? They have many 3D printers, are open to the public, have an easy platform to use, and let’s face it…good pricing!

Shapeways, 3D printing your fidget spinner base in PLA= $10.00

Note: PLA is only available as a maker. Other materials are suitable and price estimate here reflects a good average (rounded up to the nearest $5 for simplicity and adding fluff for rubbing alcohol, etc.)

$10.00 ea

 

Materials needed for final assembly:

 

Radial ball bearings 608 series = $ 6.99, EBAY

Bearing lubrication = $ 6.99, Amazon
$6.99/100 = .69

 

 

Total cost (without cost for your time) per 3D printed unit at 100 unit projection:

3D model of fidget spinner = $.65
3D print of fidget spinner = $10.00
Radial ball bearings = $6.99
Bearing lubrication = $.69

*Estimated Total of DIY = $18.33/unit

 

Total upfront cost (without cost for your time) per 3D printed unit at 100 unit projection:

3D model of fidget spinner = $65.00
3D print of fidget spinner = $10.00
Radial ball bearings = $6.99
Bearing lubrication = $6.99

*Estimated upfront cost of DIY= $88.98
*Using Shapeways, not your own 3D Printer
*$10 print price includes approximately $2.50 fluff for rubbing alcohol, tools, etc., that you may already have.

 

 

If you are inclined to remove your cost of design (working for free now?) then upfront pricing is like this:

3D model of fidget spinner = $0.00
3D print of fidget spinner = $10.00
Radial ball bearings = $6.99
Bearing lubrication = $6.99

*Estimated upfront cost = $23.98
*Using Shapeways, not your own 3D Printer
*$10 print price includes approximately $2.50 fluff for rubbing alcohol, tools, etc., that you may already have.

 

 

Well, what did we conclude? Who cares, right? With the maker craze, it can be a mess to sort through 3D printing vs buying. 3D printing is not intended for mass production. It is intended for a one-off item, or a few of the same for a unique need, or for an item that is not readily available.

 

Good news for those who just want a fidget spinner NOW! We have found competitively priced buy NOW models. Two of our favorites are here:

http://bit.ly/2qhpjDs

http://bit.ly/2qhp23f

 

Price range is $10 for cheapo to $16-$24 for mid-range. Shhh…we heard Walgreens sells them for $5!

 

Go create! We support the maker movement. We love uniqueness. The value is elusive on standard items, however, if you want something you designed and built, then 3D Printing is your solution! You ARE valuable. Mass production may have its place but they will always need creators. Just keep an eye on your upfront cost/time and ability for ROI. If you find pieces of the assembly cheaper then your return is greater! Go for it and share your findings with us!

 

 

 

If you are itching to make one yourself, we completed a few steps for you. Purchase your own already designed, 3D printed fidget spinner here! Don’t forget the rest of your parts to complete the assembly listed above.

 

Fantastic resource to a DIY breakdown can be found here. Way to go gyroscope07!

 

Happy creating!
#3DGirl
#3DTransformations

Something to Say?

Your email address will not be published.