With competition in the consumer market for 3D printers heating up significantly over the last year, partnerships are very important to companies wishing to take their products a step further in terms of name recognition and availability. When there are dozens of different 3D printers available, all with somewhat the same specifications, unless they are able to stand out and build a brand that is recognizable as well as trusted within the market, they will slowly fade. Today one such partnership has been announced, and although the benefits may not be achieved right away, it’s certainly a step in the right direction for both companies involved.
Home Depot announced last night that they have teamed with MakerBot, to offer MakerBot 3D printers online on their website, as well as in 12 stores across the states of California, New York, and Illinois. The program is only in its ‘pilot’ stage for now, but could expand over time depending on the reaction from consumers.
Makerbot’s CEO Bre Pettis described the partnership as a “step into the mainstream,” and continued by stating that “Mom, dad, contractors, interior designers – we’re looking forward to blowing their minds and making them MakerBot lovers.”
“We are thrilled to partner with The Home Depot to help bring MakerBot 3D printing technology to The Home Depot customers,” noted Pettis. “Imagine a world where you can 3D print replacement parts and use 3D printing as an integral part of design and building work. Every day we see the magic of 3D printing becoming a reality with our customers; now The Home Depot can also see that magic. We can’t wait to see what The Home Depot customers make with our products.”
Just like MakerBot has been facing increasing competition as of late, so too is Home Depot. Not only that, but over the next 10 years it is expected that the number of homeowners will decrease in the U.S., as the population continues to age. Because of this it is very important that Home Depot secures their position for the future. By adopting technology such as 3D printing, it will give consumers a feeling that the company is at the forefront of future trends.
“Ten years from now, it will be quite common for people to have 3-D printers in their homes,” said Tim Shepherd, an analyst at research firm Canalys in the U.K.
Home Dept does not expect this partnership to offer significant padding to their bottom line, at least not in the early going, but it’s certainly a move which tells shareholders that they are in fact looking towards the future. Home Depot is currently the largest home-improvement chain in the United States, realizing $78.8 billion in revenue last year, quite a bit more than the second largest chain within their industry, Lowe’s, who generated $53.4 billion.
Here is a list of the initial 12 stores that will offer MakerBot 3D Printers:
|3838 Hollis Avenue, Emeryville||1232 W. North Ave., Chicago||40 West 23rd Street, New York|
|1781 E. Bayshore Rd., East Palo Alto||2920 Audrey Avenue, Naperville||980 3rd Avenue, New York|
|1125 Old County Rd., San Carlos||1300 S. Clinton Street, Chicago|
|1675 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles||2665 N. Halsted Street, Chicago|
|22855 Victory Blvd., West Hills|
|7100 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach|
Let us know your opinion on this partnership. Will this help send 3D printing into the mainstream? Discuss in the Home Depot & MakerBot forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below of the MakerBot on display in a Home Depot store:
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