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.

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

 

Topics: Hardware

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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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