Why basic 3D printers are crazy cheap now



Starting at $200: a smaller footprint, standardization, and growing interest helps.

Last fall, Ars reported on the opening of a Southern California shop that was selling a $600 3D printer. The brick-and-mortar seemed to bring the total number of 3D printer retail stores in America (and possibly the world) to two. Since then, there’s been a steadily rising interest in 3D printing—particularly in 3D-printed firearms, which, of course, has drawn the ire of legislators.

For these printers to truly come into the mainstream, however, manufacturers need to first make it easy for consumers to buy them. That goal came one step closer to realization in early May 2013, when office supply retailer Staples announced that it would be selling a $1,300 printer from 3D Systems, making it the first major retailer to do so.

But for many potential buyers, the price of a 3D printer is more of hurdle…

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