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.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.