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Amazon builds section for 3D printing supplies

Online retail giant dedicates a section of its online store to selling 3D printers and supplies in another step toward the devices becoming mainstream.

Nick Heath Chief reporter
Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.
Nick Heath
Amazon's 3D printing section Screenshot by CNET

In another step toward 3D printers finding a place in everyday businesses and homes, online retailer Amazon has dedicated a section of its site to selling 3D printers.

The site sells 3D printers from well-known manufacturers such as Makerbot, as well as others such as Cubify and fabbster, alongside 3D printer filament and spare parts.

Prices for machines range from the $1,099 JET/Open Source 3D printer Replicator G to $2,479 MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer.

The section marks another move toward mainstream adoption for 3D printing and follows office-supply chain Staples' decision to begin stocking 3D printers.

For years 3D printers, which build solid objects layer by layer using computer models, came with a price tag that made them unaffordable to anyone outside big business.

However, in recent years homebrew 3D printer projects such as RepRap in the U.K. and Fab@Home have demonstrated it's possible to build a 3D printer for about $1,000. Meanwhile, 3D printers aimed at the home market have started to emerge.

The emergence of the, relatively, low-cost 3D printer market has also fueled a rise in the number of schematics for printable 3D models freely available online, with people sharing their designs for items ranging from quadroceptors to hermit crab shells through sites like Thingiverse.com.

This story originally posted as "Amazon launches online store for 3D printers" on ZDNet.