83-Year-Old Inventor Makes 3D Printers More Affordable

You won’t find too many households with a 3D printer, which can turn digital blueprints into physical objects made out of plastic or other materials. Right now, the machines are pricey, selling between $399 and $2,200. But that may change, thanks to Hugh Lyman.

Lyman, 83, is the winner of the Desktop Factory Competition, whose goal was to find a solution to lower the costs of producing the 3D printer. The contest’s sponsors were Inventables, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Maker Education Initiative.

Just as the cost of ink-jet printing stems from ink cartridges, the spools of plastic filament — which a 3D printer layers into an object — greatly affect the long-term economics of 3D printing. Lyman’s winning entry, the Lyman Filament Extruder II, can turn less expensive plastic pellets into filament.

As reported by this Time Magazine article, Lyman ran Ly Line Products, a manufacturer of scientific cabinetry and related items, until he retired 17 years ago. Today, he’s an avid fisherman and golfer — as well as an inventor.

So what are Lyman’s plans for his $40,000 award?  He’ll give half of it to his wife, he told Time Magazine, “and tinker with the other half.”

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About Lynne Strang

I'm a writer who blogs about 40-and-older business owners. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cooking, vegetable gardening and exercise (especially cycling).
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement, Success and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 83-Year-Old Inventor Makes 3D Printers More Affordable

  1. The senior citizen is certainly not dead but sharp as a pin. In fact, with all the baby boomers hitting the market, they hold the key to the future success of the business pool and control over 80% of the money. It is really smart of a business to hire them, invest in them and sell to them.

  2. nishkaush says:

    Reblogged this on Saga of my first Startup and commented:
    unbelievable!

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