Amazon launches online store for 3D printers

Amazon launches online store for 3D printers

Summary: Online retail giant Amazon has dedicated a section of its site to selling 3D printers in another move towards the devices becoming mainstream.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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In another step towards 3D printers finding a place in everday businesses and homes, online retailer Amazon has dedicated a section of its site to selling 3D printers.

The site sells 3D printers from well-known manufacturers such as Makerbot, as well as others such as Cubify and fabbster, alongside 3D printer filament and spare parts.

Prices for machines range from the $1,099 JET – Open Source 3D printer Replicator G to $2,479 MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer.

The store marks another move towards mainstream adoption for 3D printing, and follows stationary chain Staples' decision to begin stocking 3D printers.

For years 3D printers, which build solid objects layer by layer using computer models, came with a price tag that made them unaffordable to anyone outside big business.

However, in recent years homebrew 3D printer projects such as RepRap in the UK and Fab@Home have demonstrated it's possible to build a 3D printer for about $1,000, and 3D printers aimed at the home market have started to emerge.

The emergence of the, relatively, low-cost 3D printer market has also fuelled a rise in the number of schematics for printable 3D models freely available online, with people sharing their designs for items ranging from quadroceptors to hermit crab shells through sites like Thingiverse.com.

3dprintersamazon
Amazon's 3D printer store. Image: Amazon.com

 

Topic: Hardware

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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3 comments
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  • You've got to...

    You've got to really, really, really really be into Warhammer to make this thing worth it. Honestly, these 3D printers strike me as something that seems super duper cool, at first, so you rush out and buy one, and you download a garden gnome model and print it out and it's the most amazing thing you've ever seen, and then you print a dozen garden gnomes for all your friends, and then you pretty much realize it's really only good for printing garden gnomes and such and really, how many garden gnomes can one man print before he gets bored.
    dsf3g
  • Not a consumer device, yet.

    3d printing is in it's infancy. There are hobbiests, inventors and some businesses that could find very valid reasons to own one currently. If you are tinkering and have a need for a part that one of these things could print it might save you dozens of hours and allow you to reproduce an identical successful design. Injection molding, the current leading method for producing many plastic parts, is setup intensive. Computer routers waste a lot of material. If you are a small business and have a product that is built with one or more small plastic parts 3d printing may be the answer.
    Now lets skip ahead a decade. Amazon sends you their free 3d printer. When you buy one of several products that printer produces the items printed at your house, using your electricity but there are no shipping fees or delays. Don't want the product and it may even be possible for you to put it back in the hopper for melting and reuse of the materials. Will it work for every item? Definitely not. Will it work for enough items to make it viable? No doubt. Imagine such devices printing your next batteries, a replacement case or protective cover for your cell phone, hard plastic screws that work where metal ones would corrode and thousands of other ideas. The projection is that by 2020 80% of retail sales will be online sales. Would you rather drive to the store to buy a $3.00 part or buy it online and print it for 25 cents using 2 cents worth of your electricity? How about it is 3 am and you remember your 4 year old daughter's favorite doll was mauled by the family dog, lost a hand and was brought to you to be fixed. Ten minutes printing and a little super glue later and you are golden. Well until she reaches her teen years and you start using the 3d printer to produce plastic handcuffs.
    chaos213
  • $500 not $1000

    3D printers start at $500. Solidoodle for example. I agree you should be a tinkerer to get more than the cool factor out of it.
    cook.erik@...