After Staples started selling The Cube 3D printer last month, Amazon launched a 3D printer section of its own, yet another step towards 3D printers becoming more mainstream. Unlike Staples, Amazon is offering a range of models such as the MakerBot Replicator 2 at the higher end ($2,479.49) to the Mbot Cube at the lower end ($1,199) to the Afinia 3D Printer H-Series somewhere in the middle ($1,599).
The new section also has various 3D printer parts and numerous filament options.
It's especially interesting that Amazon is moving into the 3D printer retail business considering just last month Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that Amazon's use of 3D printing to digitize physical goods is "far, far in the future.”
Obviously, that isn't to say Amazon doesn't see a market for the hobbyists, DIYers, and engineering students who are helping to grow the market for low-cost 3D printers. For printers costing less than $5,000, the market had an average growth rate of 346 percent each year from 2008 through 2011 before falling to 46 percent last year. And by 2017, according to the latest market research, the overall market for 3D printing products and services is expected to reach $6 billion, with double digit growth over the next several years. The industry grew to $2.2 billion in 2012.
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