3D printers could end up in a hardware store near you
The 3D printing craze continues to gain steam, as well as attract attention outside of the technology sector. To wit, MakerBot and The Home Depot announced a collaboration to bring MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers on the hardware store's website and a dozen brick-and-mortar Home Depot stores in California, Illinois, and New York beginning today. It's considered a pilot program and could expand to more stores if received well by the public.
"MakerBot 3D Printing and Scanning products will be showcased inside The Home Depot stores in specially designed kiosks that will encourage visitors to experience the wonder of 3D printing firsthand," MakerBot said (PDF) . "Trained MakerBot retail staff will provide continual 3D printing demonstrations and offer 3D printed keepsakes for interested customers to take home with them, as well as help with purchase decisions."
Half of the stores showcasing the Replicator are located in California, with an additional four in Illinois (three in the Chicago area), and two more in New York. If you don't happen to live by one of available locations, you can browse Home Depot's selection of MakerBot printers and accessories on its website . At present, Home Depot's website carries the Replicator, Replicator 2, Replicator Mini, 3D Scanner, and both red and blue filament.
For many, price has been a prohibiting factor to make the leap into 3D printing territory. However, this collaboration is a neat way to introduce the technology to people who might otherwise overlook it.