Where can you buy a 3D printer? How about Home Depot? The home improvement retailer has announced a partnership with 3D printing company MakerBot to sell MakerBot Replicators in 12 Home Depots in New York City, California and Illinois.
At these dozen locations, MakerBot staff will also demonstrate 3D printing technology to customers at specially designed kiosks and hand out 3D printed items as keepsakes. The intent is to get people interested in 3D printing and its capabilities — MakerBot's, in particular.
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MakerBot's consumer-grade 3D printer is the MakerBot Replicator Mini, which costs $1,375 and can print objects as large as 3.9 x 3.9 x 4.9 inches with layers as thin as 200 microns. However, it's worth noting that other 3D printers such as the $499 Da Vinci 1 printer or the $999 Cube 3 have a layer resolution of 100 microns or lower.
Home Depot is also selling the MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, a $2,899 device capable of building objects up to 9.9 x 7.8 x 5.9 inches, with a layer resolution of 100 microns; and the MakerBot Replicator Z18, a prosumer and small business printer with a relatively huge build size of 12 x 12 x 18 inches, that costs $6,499.
In addition to 3D printers, Home Depot will also sell the $799 MakerBot Digitizer scanner, which can scan physical objects up to 8 x 8 x 8 inches, in order to make 3D digital models that can then be 3D printed.
MakerBot also hosts a 3D printing community service called Thingiverse on which users can buy and share digital models to print with a Replicator or most other 3D printers.
In New York, the two Home Depots with 3D printing installations are at 40 West 23rd Street and 980 3rd Avenue. In California, the Home Depots are located in the cities Emeryville, East Palo Alto, San Carlos, Los Angeles, West Hills and Huntington Beach. In Illinois, three of the Home Depots are located in Chicago, and a fourth in Napierville.