MakerBot just announced plans to begin selling their Replicator 2 desktop model in Microsoft retail stores across the United States. The move makes Microsoft the first entity to sell the machines on a shop floor outside of MakerBot’s flagship location in New York City.
MakerBot’s expansion into 18 Microsoft stores within the continental US will allow customers to watch demonstrations and then walk out the door with their own printer and plastic feedstock. MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis believes that making 3D printing technology available to more individuals will bring manufacturing back to the home, as it was before the industrial revolution.
MakerBot has also been in the process of developing the Digitizer, a desktop scanner to compliment its printer. The pair of machines will enable customers to easily scan and replicate almost any object. Instead of needing to run to the hardware store for a twenty-four pack of shower rings to replace one broken piece, users will be able to simply scan and fabricate their own. MakerBot’s expansion will not only be good for the company’s portfolio, but it should save the environment a little wear and tear from resource extraction and energy consumption.