Podcasts & RSS Feeds
Most Active Stories
- No, Chinese investors aren't 'buying up Detroit' – but they do have an eye on the Motor City
- The average Michigan family needs $52,330 a year to 'make ends meet'
- Here are our 10 favorite photos of what your winter looks like
- What all the snow and ice will mean for Great Lakes water levels
- Michigan's Attorney General is risking his political future over the gay marriage case
Environment & Science
Mon April 1, 2013
Study: 3-D printers could cut lab equipment costs by 97 percent
3-D printers may help research laboratories cut their equipment costs by up to 97 percent, according to a new study from Michigan Technological University .
Joshua Pearce is a professor at Michigan Tech and one of the paper's authors. He said he recently got a $1,000 quote for lab jack, a tool that functions similarly to a car jack.
"And so we made a lab jack that you can print for about six dollars," he said. "And there are less expensive lab jacks on the market, but getting the quality of lab jack we needed in our lab cost about six bucks."
All of the research is open source, meaning anyone can download the schematics online. Because they're open source, Pearce said the designs are customizable.
"The really beautiful thing about this open-source approach to designing scientific equipment is that you're able to customize it, which means you're able to make better, more particular equipment specifically to meet your application needs, while, again, getting these enormous reductions in production cost," he said.
The paper was published last week in the online journal Plos One.
-- Joseph Lichterman, Michigan Radio Newsroom