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.
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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