Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Birth of 3D Printer Shops

For the last three decades when people said '3D printing shops,' they were referring to printing bureaus and prototyping agencies.
But now a new kind of 3D printing shop has arrived. 
The first of these is the MarkerBot Store in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. 

MakerBot Industries, producers of the Replicator desktop 3D printer, have rolled out a new 3D printer, the Replicator 2.0.  Aimed at the 'prosumer' market – that is to say aimed at either design professionals or hardcore hobbyists - the Replicator 2.0 costs $2,199 and is able to print objects in 100 micron thick layers, which is far more detailed than the 270 micron thickness the original Replicator was able to print in. 


Coupled with this new release was the grand opening of the MakerBot Store this past September. 


The MakerBot Store in New York

Most of the designs displayed in the store were designed by MakerBot's 3D designers, with the rest coming from Thingiverse, MakerBot's community sharing site. The store even displays 3D printed squirrels!  MakerBot envisions the store as a place where people can 'experience' 3D printing in person.

3D Printed Squirrels
Indeed, that is the difference between this new breed of 3D printer shops and 3D printing bureaus.  Not only do these shops sell people the actual 3D printers, but they also show them a view of the future. 
One they can touch.
And MarkerBot isn’t the only 3D printing company showing people that future, either.  Tucked away in a mall in Pasadena, California, twenty minutes from both CalTech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, sits 'Deezmaker,' the first 3D printer retail store on the west coast.  Its grand opening came three days after the MakerBot Store’s. 
Deezmaker 3D Printer Shop
Founded by Diego Porqueras, Deezmaker sells the Kickstarted Bukobot, for $600.  The shop will sell other 3D printers as well. 
The future has arrived to a high street near you.
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