What a week it has been for the two largest 3D printer manufacturers in the world, Stratasys and 3D Systems. While 3D Systems yesterday announced a deal to acquire Cimatron, a CAD/CAM software developer, and is also very busy rolling out a slew of new exciting products, Stratasys has managed to push their MakerBot brand of desktop 3D printers into dozens of new stores nationwide.
After announcing last week that they will be selling MakerBot machines in 26 new Home Depot stores across the US, and adding to that excitement yesterday with an announcement of an exclusive deal with Staples to carry their MakerBot printers in 50 retail locations across the US, today we get word of yet another major deal.
Silicon Valley-headquartered Fry’s Electronics, a company with approximately 14,000 employees and over $2 billion in annual revenue, has announced an agreement with Stratasys as well. As part of the agreement, 32 Fry’s stores in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Texas, and Washington will feature MakerBot 3D printers and filament within specially designed MakerBot in-store kiosks. Additionally, two Fry’s store locations, one in Sunnyvale, California and another in Wilsonville, Oregon, will each feature a printer in-action so that customers can see with their own eyes how the machine works.
“We are really excited to partner with Fry’s Electronics to bring MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers and Filaments directly to high tech professionals in more retail locations throughout the United States,” noted Jenny Lawton, acting CEO of MakerBot. “It’s also a great experience to be able to visit Fry’s and purchase multiple colors of MakerBot Filament when working on a 3D printing project.”
In addition to MakerBot’s physical presence within these stores, Frys.com will also begin carrying the full lineup of MakerBot 3D printers including the Replicator Z18, Replicator Mini, 5th Generation Replicator, and the experimental Replicator 2X. MakerBot will also be offering 20 different filament types, including their popular Glow in the Dark and Translucent filaments, in stores and on the website.
This partnership should extend MakerBot’s reach and name recognition, as it will also take us all one step closer to seeing 3D printing enter the mainstream. Have you been to any of the Fry’s Electonics locations which carry MakerBot 3D printers? What do you think about this deal? Let us know in the Fry’s/MakerBot forum thread on 3DPB.com.