A MakerBot 3-D printer on display at a trade fair in Germany.
A MakerBot 3-D printer on display at a trade fair in Germany. - 
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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:

$1,375

Home Depot offers two models of MakerBot printers. The smaller printer is $1,375 while the larger model sells for $2,899.

$18

Most refill packs of plastic filament used to create objects cost $18 or $48, depending on their size and color.

$153.8 billion

Home improvement retail stores, like Home Depot, are expected to earn $153.8 billion in revenue in 2014, according to research firm IBISWorld, Inc.  

$1.4 billion

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.

18.4%

Stratasys Inc., which acquired MakerBot in 2013, has a 18.4 percent marketshare of the 3-D printing manufacturing industry, according to IBISWorld.

$550 billion

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. 

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