Yesterday MakerBot Industries, perhaps the world's most prolific 3-D printing company, announced the opening of the first retail store dedicated to the hobby.
If the New York store proves successful, the world of 3-D printing may explode, transforming from a niche pastime into a mainstream consumer market.
But enough speculating: take a look inside for yourself.
(Don't miss PopSci's full story on MakerBot's big announcements, including the unveiling of a new high-resolution 3-D printer called Replicator 2.)
This place has existed in Orlando Florida for a few years now. http://www.mydeatechnologies.com/mydeaiq.php
A full store is a bad idea, frankly I think this is incredibly inefficient and they'll go out of business because of the expensive overhead cost. The best idea I've seen for this is the vending machine that allows you to pick and then watch your toy being made.
As for their "collectibles," why would anyone pay that much for a piece of plastic that only comes in one color? There are lots of people who collect figurines, but the figures have multiple colors, personality, and are actually pretty! These are just chunks of plastic that you could get for cheap at a dollar store. The primary draw of these toys is being able to make it yourself, so who needs a store?
3d airbrushing the solid plastics cant be far off, even multicolored transparent plastics are feasible, just need to build another arm.
As long as they're approaching the first year or two as an opportunity to generate awareness and familiarity with 3D printed products (and not, obviously, the revenue from selling collectibles) they might do all right.
Her fixation on the collectibles is a bit annoying though. They should talk about how you can come in with a design and they'll print it for you...assuming they do that too.
Nice use of logo toy on mydeatechnologies.com
Magoonski: MakerBot is easily making enough profit to take a loss on the store.
dkella: no need for airbrushing. There are already designs that allow CMYK (which can make practically any color) plastic to be mixed, with transparency as well.
suddenmischief: They do not offer that service - they want you to buy their machine instead.