MakerBot, one of the most successful 3D printing startups of all time, has three retail stores in the Northeast from which it peddles its wares. Not everybody can afford a Replicator 2, however, so MakerBot is now going to let you use the printers they have in store for a small fee.
MakerBot announced this week that its three retail stores in New York, Boston and Greenwich, Conn. are now offering 3D printer services. In other words, you can bring in a flash drive with a 3D design on it and have it printed at the store for a small fee.
MakerBot notes that all designs will be printed in the company’s PLA filament. Objects can be printed in a variety of colors, including white, black, transluscent red, warm gray or natural. There are more colors than that available, but they will cost extra.
So, how much is this going to cost? While most places charge based on the amount of material used, MakerBot is pricing prints on the amount of time it takes to complete them. For a print that takes less than 30 minutes, it will cost $10. The price goes up exponentially from there with two hours costing $35 and six hours costing $100. If the print takes more than six hours, you’ll have to get a quote from MakerBot.
It should be noted that you’re not required to stay in the store while your item is being printed. In fact, the store may not be able to get around to it when you first put your order in. Instead, MakerBot will give you an estimate of when your print will be finished and contact you when it’s done.
If you aren’t anywhere near a MakerBot retail store, you can still get your 3D printing on at any of the numerous maker spaces that are popping up all over the world. For locations, check out Makerspace or 3D Hubs.