A quirky kind of store has opened up at 298 Mulberry Street in downtown Manhattan. It’s the first retail location for MakerBot, one of the leading consumer 3D printer companies. People can come in, look at a variety of printed objects, and buy 3D printed knickknacks like watch bands and little plastic squirrels for their friends.
To have a look at how good the consumer models have gotten, check out Bre Pettis, the MakerBot chief executive officer, in this demo of the new Replicator. Or have a peek at the Cube from 3D Systems, which costs $1,299. With these two systems, the hardware has started to move well beyond the crude, hobbyist stage. Just as important, the software is catching up, so that true amateurs—and not just engineers—can design their own models and print them with relative ease.http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-21/the-era-of-retail-3d-printing-begins/