I started researching 3-D printers, and I figured out I could print them on a 3D printer and print them for about a nickel apiece. So it paid for itself just doing this one job.
South east of Huntsville, Alabama is the small city of Boaz, where something very interesting happened. The Boaz City School System discovered they had to replace all the switch mounts for their network upgrade.
The 364 switches were to cost USD$2000, but Wayne Caudle, Director of Technologies for the School System had a better idea:
He purchased a MakerBot Replicator 2 and printed them out himself.
Even better, the schools now have access to a 3D printer to engage students in the process of design and manufacturing.
Individuals at home may not have a similar business case to acquire a 3D printer, but we suspect many schools do.