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3D printing, the IKEA effect and happiness!

3D printing, the IKEA effect and happiness!

I bought a DIY 3D printer from China over Aliexpress, it came with incomplete instructions and a hefty bill from customs.

I’ve always gotten a kick from building things myself and this was no different. It arrived within a week which was a pleasant surprise.

I began construction straight away and had it fully assembled within about a day. It took another day, a healthy amount of vicious profanity and some condemning of Windows Device Manager to hell before I managed to figure out how to use the firmware and software provided. Yes, it was frustrating (I may have broken something(s) in temper) but the feeling I got when I saw that thing kick into life was exhilarating.

High as a kite, I sent the command to the printer to heat up the plastic so it would melt and be ready for extrusion.  Of course, I set the temperature too high and what ensued was lots of smoke, coughing and Smoke Alarming. That killed the mood a bit but I wasn’t going to let a hurdle as minor as a potential fire hazard throw me off. A replacement part from Amazon did the trick and we were fuse deposition modeling in no time. The 3D-printer was a large mess of wires and occasional sparks that made some people worry for their personal safety but it was MY large mess of wires and occasional sparks that made people worry about their personal safety.

3D Printer

Working on my baby in the office

I love that printer and I recommend anyone interested to try build their own instead of buying.

Self-assembling an object can induce feelings of satisfaction and emotional connection to that object. This is true and I among others can attest to it. There’s a reason our kits are self-assembled by the user. As it happens, there is a psychological phenomenon known as the ‘IKEA Effect’. The ‘Ikea Effect’ is a psychological phenomenon in which people place high value on self-assembled furniture/objects significantly more than the same objects assembled by somebody else.

In a research project published by Harvard University titled “The Ikea Effect: When Labour Leads To Love”, it was discovered from a series of experiments that people place an inherently higher value on an object they personally built compared to the same object built by someone else.

It was found participants in the experiment would be willing to pay 63% more for furniture they assembled themselves as opposed to pre-assembled furniture.

It was also found that people value incompletely assembled furniture less than completely assembled furniture.

Imagine 3D printing an object you made on a computer with a 3D printer you built yourself. Compare that to the sense of achievement from assembling some furniture. It’s like The Ikea Effect on Steroids.

If you want to be satisfied in life just remember to DIY as much as you can, buy IKEA and 3D print.

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