You Can Buy a 3D Printer on the High Street Now

By Sam Gibbs on at

Up until now, 3D printers were still the preserve of the wealthy and the industrious, or at least those prepared to buy something online. But now you can purchase your very own DIY creation marvel, direct from a high street brick and mortar store -- no internet needed.

Starting tomorrow, Maplin will start flogging would-be 3D printing punters a Velleman K8200 printer kit for the princely sum of £700. OK, you'll still need to be wealthy to indulge your fabrication fantasies, but at least you can see it in the flesh before you fork out your cash.

The machine will apparently be able to spit out a new phone case in about 30 minutes, while a 1kg plastic cartridge will set you back £30 a pop in either black, white, blue, red, orange, green, yellow, or pink. It's about the size of an old-school inkjet printer with a 20x20x20cm printable area, so you're not going to be producing any massive marvels of plastic engineering, but you could probably produce replacement parts for pretty much anything if you put your mind to it.

According to Maplin, pre-orders of this thing have been fierce, which at £700 seriously undercuts the darling of the 3D printing world, the Makerbot, so expect it to sell out quickly. Who all these people are with £700 to spare that's not going on the latest and greatest phone, tablet or console, I have no idea.