If you thought you and your RepRap were safe from posers, you’re sunk: Amazon has just opened a store for 3D printers and printer accessories that seems to, at the very least, allow smaller manufacturers to get a foothold in an increasingly tight market.
Available on the “pop up web store” or whatever you want to call it are printers from Afinia and Flashforge (which, as you’ll notice, is a literal rip-off of the Makerbot) as well as offers from Makerbot owners who are selling used machines. In short, the store consists of smaller fry attempting to sell directly to a less educated consumer – which is fine.
With Staples selling Cube 3D printers and Toys “R” Us selling personalized ducks in Hong Kong, it’s clear we’re reaching the point when 3D printing is beginning to interface with the culture. It’s still “cool” enough to be cutting edge yet it’s lucrative enough for behemoths like Amazon to throw it a bone with this store.
And what of the folks who want their 3D printers to be the hardware equivalent of underground prog rock? Well, we’re probably out of luck. I’ll know it’s gone mainstream when my Dad asks for one and, the way things are going, that should be some time next week.