Microsoft made waves earlier this summer when it announced that it would include native 3D printer support in Windows 8.1. The 3D printer hobbyists were obviously excited, but it's a little harder to get the layman excited about the future of manufacturing. MakerBot wants to change all that.
MakerBot announced today that its bringing what it calls the MakerBot Experience to Microsoft Stores around the country. The 3D printer maker already had a presence in a number of Microsoft Stores on the West Coast, but the company said that it's bringing its Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer to 15 more stores.
So, what is the MakerBot Experience? In short, MakerBot provides a hands-on demonstration of the Replicator 2 to those who visit participating Microsoft Stores. Those same visitors will also have the chance to buy a Replicator 2 and PLA filament. You're going to need some money, however, as the Replicator 2 retails for $2,199. As for the plastic, spools of PLA filament cost $48 a piece.
“We’re thrilled to offer the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer and our MakerBot PLA Filament in Microsoft Stores,” said Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. “We’ve seen tremendous interest and enthusiasm at the three initial ‘MakerBot Experience’ stores. Rolling the program out to 15 additional Microsoft Stores supercharges our mission to bring 3D printing to more people.”
MakerBot has been one of the most vocal supporters of Microsoft's move into 3D printing. At the annual BUILD conference, the company announced that it had worked with Microsoft to build a 3D printer driver for Windows 8.1. Offering the Replicator 2 at Microsoft Stores is just a natural extension of that partnership.
“3D printing is a significant technological innovation, and we want all our customers to experience it first-hand, to learn how they can use and benefit from it in their own lives,” said David McAughan, chief operating officer for Microsoft retail stores. “The relationship with MakerBot has been very successful so far, and Microsoft looks forward to seeing the ‘MakerBot Experience’ rolled out into more stores.”
The MakerBot Replicator 2 will be available at the following Microsoft Stores: