Amazon have just launched a store for 3D printers, consumables and accessories which may bring the technology to more homes and businesses.
There’s a selection of 3D printers from Makerbot, FlashForge, Afinia and fabbster with prices ranging from $1,099 to over $2,300 and there’s even some used 3D printers for sale. These entry-level machines are ideal for the hobby market or those who may want to experiment with 3D printing to find out what it might do for them.
Where Amazon may generate a lot of business is in the consumables market, particularly 3D printer filament. They offer a wide range of ABS and PLA filaments in a range of colors with reasonable pricing.
With this web store Amazon is giving smaller 3D printer manufacturers massive exposure for their machines and we’ll no doubt see them stock many of the multitude of Kickstarter projects that have been launched recently.
Amazon’s weight behind 3D printers may lean to more mainstream acceptance of the technology, but they are not the first as Staples are now stocking 3D printers in some retail outlets. These “home” desktop 3D printers may cost significantly less than professional level machines from Stratasys and 3D Systems which cost tens of thousands of dollars.
But they still need a big investment of around $2,000 to get one on your desk, which might be hard to justify for most people. Amazon are clearly banking on growth in the market, with research from SmarTech Markets Publishing estimating that 3D printing hardware, software and services will be worth $1.8 billion this year, growing to $5.1 billion by 2018.