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MakerBot printers debut at Home Depot
Home Depot has big news for DIY-enthusiasts: It is now selling MakerBot 3-D printers in 12 locations, including two in Manhattan.
The home improvement store started selling MakerBots on Monday as part of a pilot program to make 3-D printing accessible to everyone.
"Traditionally the users of 3-D printers have been architects, engineers, industrial designers, people in those kinds of jobs," said Jenifer Howard, director of public relations at MakerBot. "But what we're seeing in the last couple of years is it's moving more and more to the consumer side."
Consumers are using the printers, which produce small physical objects, to do everything from creating brackets, drawer knobs and light switch plates at home to helping kids learn engineering in schools. The printers can help in the medical field as well, such as by printing parts for prosthetic hands.
"If I need a doorstop, I 3-D print a doorstop. I printed a replacement part for an old hot tub," Howard said of the MakerBots she has at home.
The printers use a bioplastic made out of corn, so while the world of 3-D printing is limitless, MakerBots won't replace steel and lumber.
Unlike other gadgets which are manufactured in far-away industrial places, MakerBot 3-D printers and scanners are produced in Sunset Park. The company was founded in 2009, merged with Stratasys last year and now has close to 500 employees.
"We're actually very proud of the fact that we've been able to remain a Brooklyn company and have our products here and are growing at this rate," Howard said. "It's so important to have engineering and support and everything within close proximity to each other."
Home Depot is selling the MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer for $1,375 and the Replicator Desktop 3D Printer for $2,899 at the 40 W. 23rd St. and 980 Third Ave. locations.