We knew Microsoft was seriously interested in 3D printing when in June they added support for 3D printers support into Windows. And with Shanen Boettcher, General Manager of the Startup Business Group at Microsoft, said “Remember when we said there’d be a PC on every desktop? How about this — a factory on every desktop!”
Today Microsoft made another big step into the 3D printing world by announcing that they have added a “Makerbot Experience” in 18 Microsoft Retail store. The Makerbot Experience is a store-within-a-store concept, where a small section of the retail outlet is devoted to showcasing, demonstrating and selling Makerbot Replicator 2’s and PLA filament.
This is a very big deal for Makerbot and 3D printing in general. Coming on the heels of the Amazon 3D printing store and the Staples Cubify in-store distribution, it looks to me like we’re about to see 3D printing really go mainstream.
Here’s the list of Microsoft stores you can visit to see a Makerbot Replicator in action:
- Scottsdale, AZ – Fashion Square
- Costa Mesa, CA – South Coast Plaza
- Mission Viejo, CA – The Shops at Mission Viejo
- Palo Alto, CA – Stanford Shopping Center
- San Diego, CA – Fashion Valley
- San Francisco, CA – Westfield San Francisco Centre
- Lone Tree, CO – Park Meadows Mall
- Danbury, CT – Danbury Fair Mall
- Atlanta, GA – Lenox Square
- Oak Brook, IL – Oakbrook Center
- Schaumburg, IL – Woodfield Mall
- Bloomington, MN – Mall of America
- Salem, NH – The Mall at Rockingham Park
- Bridgewater, NJ – Bridgewater Commons
- White Plains, NY – The Westchester
- Houston, TX – Houston Galleria
- McLean, VA – Tysons Corner Center
- Bellevue, WA – Bellevue Square
My best guess for the next company to mass-market the selling of 3D printers in-store is Best Buy. That will be a tipping point of gigantic proportion.