As the 3D printing market expands, retail outlets are beginning to take notice of the tremendous potential that the technology could have to increase their bottom lines. MakerBot, the most popular consumer based 3D printer brand in both North and South America, has been working diligently to sign reseller agreements with some of the world’s largest retail companies.
One area which is not particularly a strong 3D printer market is Australia. Having said this, the country is just starting to catch fire in terms of enthusiasm for 3D printing. Makerbot has realized this, and has therefore signed a major reseller agreement with one of Australia’s leading computer retail outlets, Leading Edge Computers.
As part of this landmark deal between Makerbot and Leading Edge, over 135 stores may eventually begin selling one of the most popular brands of 3D printers in the world, the Makerbot Replicator line. Initially two stores in Dubbo, and Orange will launch the reseller program. However, group merchandise manger, Lee Scott thinks this number will grow quickly.
“I would expect we could have 30 or 40 stores that will adopt the product fairly quickly. But all stores could order it if they get a customer wanting to do it,” Scott told CRN. “The decision to enter the 3D printing market has been several years coming. We’ve been watching 3D printers for about four years now as they’ve gone from a cottage industry, to the cost coming down and professional quality products,” Scott continued.
This agreement marks the second major retail chain to begin selling 3D printers in Australia in a matter of a day. Earlier today Kogan announced their entrance into the 3D printing market by offering the da Vinci line of 3D printers at their stores. As the market continues its expansion, we will likely see increased competition as more resellers come on board for the various 3D printer brands out there. As one retailer enters the market, others tend to follow, as they don’t want to be left behind. Discuss this story at the 3DPB forum.