National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Major chain begins selling 3-D printers

By Brecken Branstrator

July 15, 2014

The Home Depot is partnering with MakerBot to carry the company’s 3-D printers in 12 of its stores. These stores will have special kiosks, like this one, with demonstrations of how the printers work.

New York--The Home Depot has started carrying MakerBot desktop 3-D printers at 12 of its stores across California, Illinois, and New York as part of a new pilot program.

The partnership between the two marks the first time that The Home Depot has offered 3-D printers for sale in its stores, and brings the possibility of 3-D printing to even more consumers.

The Home Depot said it will showcase the MakerBot 3-D Printing and Scanning products inside their stores in specially designed kiosks, and trained MakerBot retail staff also will provide demonstrations and offer 3-D printed “keepsakes” to educate shoppers and help them with purchase decisions.

The stores carrying the MakerBot Replicator 3-D printing products are located in Emeryville, East Palo Alto, San Carlos, Los Angeles, West Hills, and Huntington Beach, Calif.; Naperville, Ill. as well as three locations in Chicago and two stores in New York City.

These stores will be selling the MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3-D printer ($1,375) and the MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3-D Printer ($2,899), as well as MakerBot PLA Filament in various colors, which start at $15 for a small spool $43 for a large spool.

The Home Depot also is selling the printers on its website.

In recent months, a number of companies have been bringing more 3D printers and their associated products in front of jewelers for the possibility of printing prototypes and designs.

In March, U.K.-based Cooksongold announced that it would launch its M 080 direct metal laser sintering machine along with its associated precious metal powders in North America, meant for all aspects of the trade, including jewelry manufacturers, retailers and designers.

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This was followed shortly by the news from two longtime industry players--J. Tyler Teague, an independent consultant in the jewelry industry and owner of JETT Research, and Jeff Hoover of Jeff Hoover Designs--that they were launching a new company called Proto Products to sells products for 3D printing and casting and provide support for the trade.

But among the most recent 3D news aimed at the industry was that MadeSolid Inc. is introducing a consumer-grade resin for printing, making the option of 3D printers open to more jewelers with its accessible price point.