MakerBot 3D printers go on sale at The Home Depot

MakerBot 3D printers go on sale at The Home Depot

Summary: A pilot launched Monday will give do-it-yourselfers in California, Illinois and New York a closer look at MakerBot’s printing and scanning products.

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Home improvement chain The Home Depot is making the plunge into the 3D printing with a new pilot project that brings the MakerBot Replicator to a dozen stores nationwide. The pilot marks The Home Depot's first foray into the burgeoning 3D printer space. 

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Starting today, do-it-yourselfers in California, Illinois and New York can get a closer look at MakerBot's printing and scanning products via merchandising displays within the select store locations. Trained staff will be on hand to give consumers printing demonstrations and 3D printed keepsakes.

The Home Depot is also making the MakerBot 3D printer line available on homedepot.com.

By showcasing 3D printing in a DIY retail environment, the companies said they hope to educate everyone from builders, architects and contractors to designers, landscapers and general consumers on the benefits of 3D-printing technology. 

Still, as altruistic as the deal claims to be, the motivations go far beyond educating the population on 3D-printer technology. By choosing an outlet like The Home Depot, MakerBot, which was acquired by Stratasys last year, is clearly trying to further its push to make 3D printers more ubiquitous in the consumer sector. As for The Home Depot, the deal gives the retailer an early foothold in a space that many predict will have revolutionary implications across industries.

Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, said in a statement: 

Imagine a world where you can 3D print replacement parts and use 3D printing as an integral part of design and building work. Every day we see the magic of 3D printing becoming a reality with our customers; now The Home Depot can also see that magic. We can't wait to see what The Home Depot customers make with our products.

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Topics: Emerging Tech, Innovation

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19 comments
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  • I can't think of a lot

    I can't think of a lot of benefits. It's a good novelty but applications are minimal. I would much rather put my money into a CNC wood milling machine.
    Buster Friendly
    • I suspect that you need to understand it more.

      Not trying to be mean but it is way more than a novelty and applications are likely to be endless. Right now metal fabrication via 3D modelling is outside the realm of the consumer but it is being done at the commercial level.

      With 3D modeling it is possible to manufacture things that would have been very hard or even impossible before.
      MeMyselfAndI_z
      • Nope

        No, these just make small plastic junk. They are not to be confused with industrial additive manufacturing processes which are a completely different game. What exactly would you need a lot of plastic bits for?
        Buster Friendly
        • So you are just referring to the Home Depot machines?

          I see, you are not talking about 3D printing in general but the consumer grade stuff?

          Still I think for creative stuff it could be useful. For example you could use it to create molds by creating the item to be molded and then using it to generate the mold.

          I don't know if it was done with a consumer grade machine but someone 3D printed a working plastic gun.

          Often you see gears made out of plastic and this could do that.

          Time will tell but I think there will be more to it than just junk creation.
          MeMyselfAndI_z
          • Well, yes

            Well, yes, that is the topic. Industrial processes are whole different game and not general purpose. Materials have to be processed carefully to get required characteristics. Just something basic like tempered glass or a hardened steel edge is beyond this kind of machine. For most applications, it's far more cost effective to buy processed materials and cut them.
            Buster Friendly
        • Nope

          I am on board with NOT wanting to build an infinite amount of indestructible plastic crap to float around in our oceans... But that said, WOOD?!?!? Really? Hilarious. (I love it!)

          Right. Why would anyone want to *make something* of their own design when it's so easy to go down to the mall and pay 100x the material cost to some shapeless corporate entity for some soulless "industrial additive manufacturing processes" (re:"mass-produced") item from China? (Nothing against China, by the way. But that is where our plastic stuff comes from, primarily.)

          "640kB ought to be enough for anybody..."
          rocket_science
          • Sure

            Sure I can make some fancy add-ons to my woodworking project. There are a lot of people that still know how and enjoy building things in their garage. I have no idea what I could do with some little weak injected plastic items. Maybe open a booth and sell novelties to tourists.
            Buster Friendly
          • Buster: you could do this

            Well, a variation on the theme, actually.

            http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/15/tokyo-based-artist-arrested-for-3d-printing-her-vagina/?utm_campaign=fb&ncid=fb
            rocket_science
          • The Facts.

            "I am on board with NOT wanting to build an infinite amount of indestructible plastic crap to float around in our oceans... "

            Actually most 3D printing on the consumer level is done with PLA which is a starch based bio plastic that does biodegrade over time.

            Also there are a rising number of machines that are being used to recycle failed or disgarded prints. On top of that, with the exception of a few select materials (wood filament, ceramic filament and a few others) everything you print can be recycled.
            Ice086
          • I like The Facts!

            good to know, thx
            rocket_science
        • Good heavens. Unbeleivable Buster Friendly.

          "What exactly would you need a lot of plastic bits for?"

          OMG. So difficult why in this day and age someone posting comments on a high tech website would have so little foresight and lack of understanding in potential of technology, well, its like a throwback to times gone by when many people, even some scientists often had trouble understanding the yet unforeseen potentials of certain technologies that soon caught on and rapidly became indispensable to our lives.

          In science, most truly progressive thinkers refuse to think in terms of "NEVER" or, "what use/why bother??" when there is at least some apparent utility that clearly has some potential.

          Sooner or later, all us people who have at least some technological savvy need to grow a brain. Look at the stupid things said before; lets al swear we wont be next.

          "In 1977, Ken Olson the founder of Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) was quoted as saying, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

          "In 1901 aviation pioneer, Wilbur Wright made the infamous quote, "Man will not fly for 50 years." Wilbur Wright said this right after an aviation attempt made by the Wright Brothers failed. Two years later in 1903...success"

          "The Americans are good about making fancy cars and refrigerators, but that doesn't mean they are any good at making aircraft." This was a statement made in 1942 at the height of WW2, by the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe (German airforce), Hermann Goering"

          "We do not see that this device will be ever capable of sending recognizable speech over a distance of several miles. Hubbard and Bell want to install one of their telephone devices in every city. The idea is idiotic on the face of it. Furthermore, why would any person want to use this ungainly and impractical device when he can send a messenger to the telegraph office and have a clear written message sent to any large city in the United States?" Comments made by Western Union in 1876 when A. G. Bell was looking for financing from them.

          "In 1878, a British Parliamentary Committee made the following comments about the lightbulb, "good enough for our transatlantic friends [Americans] but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men."

          " In 1913 a U.S. District Attorney began prosecution of DeForest for selling stock fraudulently through the mail for his Radio Telephone Company. The District Attorney stated that "Lee DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company."

          "In 1926, Lee De Forest had the following to say about the future of television, "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming." From a guy who had a D.A. crap on him about the future of radio? What a dunce.

          "But what ... is it good for?"
          Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

          Or how about this one...it should be the largest of proofs that people who dismiss potential should not be given important jobs...jobs...JOBS...Pun intended:

          "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"
          Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

          So Buster Friendly, you can surly advise us that a 3D printer holds little interest for you personally, but seriously man, you need to wake up when you say "No, these just make small plastic junk. They are not to be confused with industrial additive manufacturing processes which are a completely different game. What exactly would you need a lot of plastic bits for?"

          Unless you want to be referred to for perpetuity as an example of zero foresight.
          Cayble
  • If you want your kid

    to have a REAL advantage, get them to learn 3D modeling and printing. Way better than working fast food, even at $15 an hour!
    Tony Burzio
    • To do what?

      To do what? If you want to design things, you need to learn engineering and/or art and not how to use a gadget.
      Buster Friendly
      • Ha!!!!!!

        "If you want to earn a living related to being involved with a computer, you need to become a programmer and computer engineer. Knowing how to just use one, no matter how well, will never be a job requirement..." Said by countless idiots with no foresight.
        Cayble
  • Conquistadors Of The Plastic Age

    MakerBot has become the the Conquistadors of the Plastic Age of manufacturing. They have conquered the market and are moving forward lopping off the heads of smaller companies or forcing them to join or be destroyed.

    For all the bad things that I want to spew forth at them I can't. As a big fan and user of Home Depot and a 3D Printer Developer this is the dream of everyone who develops a 3D Printer. The only problem with it is that their product is junk.

    The thing to understand about designing for a 3D printer is that 90% of the people who are going to go into Home Depot will not know how to use a 3D Printer and will see it as "one of those things they make guns with!" because that is how the industry has been mislabeled. When infarct 3D printing and hardware stores go hand in hand. You can make things with a 3D Printer that can be used industrially and in the home with about a weekends worth of learning curve and for free.

    Examples of free programs? Sure here are a few. Sketchup, 123D, TinkerCAD, OpenSCAD, Blender and more. Want to take it up a notch with a paid program? Ok, try SolidWorks, Inventor, Revit, 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D and the list goes on and on.

    You DO NOT need an engineering degree. You DO NOT need an art degree. All you need is the drive to create something with these machines. That is the point of desktop manufacturing. People creating things and learning to create things for themselves and if they get good at it then they can try to do more with what they have made or with their new skills.

    Do I dislike MakerBot? God yes. Do I feel that they have a low quality product that simply looks nice? Defiantly. Do I think that this technology is going to change the world? Yes, it already has.
    Ice086
    • That's a hobby

      Just making stuff for fun is a hobby. If you want to make it career, you need training to perform at a consistent and professional level. Even as a hobby, I can't think of much I'd want to do with this thing.
      Buster Friendly
      • Buster: Clueless

        The operative phrase you used was "I can't think..."

        So, you're not going to argue that small plastic things exist, right? OK, we're going to accept the premise that small plastic things exist.

        So, given small plastic things exist, the question is Where do they come from? and Who makes them?

        Before Makerbot, to make a small plastic thing, one would have to design the 3D object in some kind of tool like CAD or PRO-E. Those software tools are neither cheap nor easy to use.

        Now the fun part. (To oversimplify...) To actually 'make' your awesome 3D design into a plastic object you first need to build a tool. A tool is used to flow the molten plastic material into, to create your shape. A tool is typically milled out of a solid block of metal/aluminum, etc. Tools cost anywhere from 1000s of dollars to hundreds of 1000s. The tool is a negative impression of your object. Then you melt up little plastic bits and fire them into the tool under pressure at high velocity. Because tools are so expensive, until today, it has made no sense to make little plastic things in small quantity.

        3D printing bypasses the entire tool part. Make your design with cheap or free programs like Sketchup and then 'print' your object for a few bucks.

        If you can't see how that totally disrupts this paradigm, you should look into other ways to spend your time.

        Surfing is cool.
        rocket_science
      • Your an idiot now...and it took just a few posts for you to prove it.

        From Buster Friendly:

        "That's a hobby. Just making stuff for fun is a hobby. If you want to make it career, you need training to perform at a consistent and professional level. Even as a hobby, I can't think of much I'd want to do with this thing."

        1. "That's a hobby. Just making stuff for fun is a hobby"

        OMG. So what???? Your statement only has a point if your saying you cant make money off of a hobby, and that's all that's important in life. And that's a pretty damn presumptive statement in itself. Secondly, there are plenty of 3D printing money making enterprises already that are not just hobbyists earning a buck or two on the side, and people actually work at these businesses who do not have a degree. Thirdly, the fact that a lot of 3D printing is done on a hobbyist basis does not preclude the fact that the 3D printing industry as a whole is a potentially huge revenue producer. You know, kind of like the PC industry was itself before practically everyone in the world came to own a PC that they could make last for years, and the market became saturated due to the PC's overwhelming popularity??

        2. " If you want to make it career, you need training to perform at a consistent and professional level" Ummmm. NO.

        Look, this point is purely ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. The ability to make a 3D print is not something like brain surgery that developed over many decades of research and development and requires not only precision and knowledge that cannot afford to be learned through trial and error. As Ice086 pointed out, "You DO NOT need an engineering degree. You DO NOT need an art degree. All you need is the drive to create something with these machines. That is the point of desktop manufacturing. People creating things and learning to create things for themselves and if they get good at it then they can try to do more with what they have made or with their new skills." You Buster Friendly talk like a maniac. You simply have to know as a citizen of the Earth that there are many talents people develop on their own through practice, dedication and a high level of interest and some become masters at it without so much as a lesson, and can indeed elevate themselves to a position of teacher of the self learned skill because of that. It happens with regularity around the world in any such interest that dosnt demand you have a degree to try your hand at the task. Many musicians learn it on their own, become very accomplished at playing and become millionaires because of it. Get with the truth we all know as fact.

        3. "Even as a hobby, I can't think of much I'd want to do with this thing."

        Again..SO WHAT in relation to this general discussion. I cant think of a single thing I personally would want to do with a wood milling machine. At all. Not one single solitary thing. I can think of a whole raft of things I WOULD NOT WANT TO DO WITH A WOOD MILLING MACHINE. As in I would not like to do everything and anything with a wood milling machine. But hey, that's just me and not you. I think at least I understand that. Saying "What exactly would you need a lot of plastic bits for?" is just every bit as entirely a stupid remark as saying "why would anyone want to put themselves through the torture of building their own wooden table?"

        How can you be so shortsighted and obtuse?
        Cayble
    • Conquistadors Of The Plastic Age

      Well said Iceo86. It's people like Buster who forget how many people have invented items without vast educational training. There are a lot of people who have succeeded by hands on training and determination. Some people just don't have the faith in their own abilities to give it a try. If you believe in yourself and are willing to put in the time, you can accomplish a lot more than just saying "It's too hard". There is a lot of information on the internet to get you going and help you succeed. Use it instead of listening to people like Buster.
      paultcook@...