Starting this week, you can walk into one of twelve Home Depot stores and buy a MakerBot 3-D printer, a desk-top machine that can create small items from melted plastic. They’re heralded as the next big thing in everything from medicine to manufacturing, but this pilot is a step toward mainstream consumers.
Click the audio player above to hear more on the sale of MakerBot 3-d printers at Home Depot.
Here are the numbers behind Home Depot and MakerBot:
Home Depot offers two models of MakerBot printers. The smaller printer is $1,375 while the larger model sells for $2,899.
Most refill packs of plastic filament used to create objects cost $18 or $48, depending on their size and color.
Home improvement retail stores, like Home Depot, are expected to earn $153.8 billion in revenue in 2014, according to research firm IBISWorld, Inc.
Companies that manufacture 3-D printers are expected to bring in $1.4 billion in revenue in 2014 from products, materials, and maintenance, according to IBISWorld.
Stratasys Inc., which acquired MakerBot in 2013, has a 18.4 percent marketshare of the 3-D printing manufacturing industry, according to IBISWorld.
By 2025, the economic impact of 3-D printing could be as high as $550 billion a year, according to research by the McKinsey Global Institute. Moreover, it could save consumers 35-60 percent in costs per printed product.