In what looks to be more good news for MakerBot, a partnership with Staples will bring their MakerBot 3D Printing Ecosystem, which includes their Replicator 3D Printers and Digitizer 3D Scanners, to 50 select Staples retail locations in 18 different states throughout the US. What may be an even bigger story here though is the fact that MakerBot will be Staples’ “exclusive provider of in-store 3D printing hardware. Staples obviously feels as though this deal will not only help them bring in more sales of 3D printing related products, but also bring more customers to their stores in order to see and experience 3D printing, and what it has to offer.
Located at these 50 retail stores, will be special MakerBot kiosks which will showcase the advantages that these 3D technologies have to offer for at-home use, as well as use within the office and classroom.
In another move to expand their presence within the 3D printing market, Staples this weekend announced a partnership with Gemany’s leading 3D printer distributor, iGo3D. As a part of this collaboration between the two companies, iGo3D will be setting up a ‘store in a store’ within the Hamburg, Germany Staples location.
But what does this mean? We just found out that Sam’s club will be carrying 3D Printers. What does this mean for the 3D Printing Industry? Does this mean that the machines are becoming so easy to use that big box retailers can carry them and consumers won’t be going nuts trying to make the machines work?
Or does it mean that machines that 3D Print are becoming a commodity? As with service bureaus, one can have an entire 3D Printing Business without even owning a machine. Is the same true for 3D Printers? Can retailers now sell these without specialized 3D Printing knowledge in-house?