Impact of DIY Home Manufacturing with 3D Printing on the Toy and Game Market

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Through reduced 3-D printer cost, increased usability, and greater material selection, additive manufacturing has transitioned from business manufacturing to the average prosumer. This study serves as a representative model for the potential future of 3-D printing in the average American household by employing a printer operator who was relatively unfamiliar with 3-D printing and the 3-D design files of common items normally purchased by the average consumer. Twenty-six items were printed in thermoplastic and a cost analysis was performed through comparison to comparable, commercially available products at a low and high price range. When compared to the low-cost items, investment in a 3-D printer represented a return of investment of over 100% in five years. The simple payback time for the high-cost comparison was less than 6 months, and produced a 986% return. Thus, fully-assembled commercial open source 3-D printers can be highly profitable investments for American consumers. Finally, as a preliminary gauge of the effect that widespread prosumer use of 3-D printing might have on the economy, savings were calculated based on the items’ download rates from open repositories. Results indicate that printing these selected items have already saved prosumers over $4 million by substituting for purchases.


distributed manufacturing; additive manufacturing; 3-D printing; consumer; economics; open-source; toy industry

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In the News

Video: Economic Advantage to Making Your Own Stuff with 3D Printing


  • Stampa 3D manda in crisi mercato giochi- Ansa (Italy, 1908), Tiscali (Italian) (2476)
  • La stampa in 3D minaccia il colosso Lego e il mondo dei giochi -Tiscali (Italian) (2476), Attualita
  • Spielzeug aus dem 3D-Drucker: Selbermachen ist bis zu 90% billiger Win Future (German, 9308)
  • Stampa in 3D: a breve potrebbe mandare in crisi il mercato dei giochi MeteoWeb (Italian 42086
  • Macht 3D-gedrucktes DIY Spielzeug Herstellern Konkurrenz? - 3D Ruck (German, 215000)
  • Pearce quotes - Euro News (3512)
  • Home 3D printing poses a threat to toy makers - The Weekend Australian(8790)
  • Spielzeug aus dem 3D-Drucker bis zu 90 Prozent preiswerter -3D Grenzenlos
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  • 最贵的就是最好的?北鼻的皮卡丘马上就要换变形金刚了,你还买得起吗? Sohu(China) (16)
  • 节省90%的成本,DIY 3D打印玩具将颠覆传统玩具制造业 CIF News (China)(11,870)
  • 3Dプリンティングが玩具業界を席巻 - Express Japan
  • Stampa 3D, dalla medicina ai trasporti ma non solo: il “fai da te” tecnologico potrebbe minare l’industria dei giochi - Urban Post (Italy)
  • La stampa in 3D può rivoluzionare il mercato dei giochi -Ansa(Italy, 1908)
  • Spielzeuge selbst 3D-drucken und Millionen einsparen -3D Natives (Germany)(103070)
  • Stampa 3D manda in crisi mercato giochi - Notizie (Italy, 1587)
  • 节省90%的成本,DIY 3D打印玩具将颠覆传统玩具制造业 Myguancha
  • Stampa 3D a misura di bambino Centropagina (Italy)
  • Minek vegyek Legót? Kinyomtatom otthon! Origo (Hungary) (3,666), game pictured in *Magyarországon is növekvő biznisz lett a társasjátékozás Origo
  • Spielgerät mit dem 3D-Drucker: Selbstgemacht ist bis zu 90% günstiger 3D Drucker Empfehlungen

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