Maplin Sells the UK’s First Commercial 3D Printer

by Jason King on July 11, 2013

ThMaplin's First 3D Printere cost of 3D printers has dropped significantly over the past few years.

However, we’ve been waiting for a long time for the mainstream high street stores to start stocking them.

A little while ago we saw the opening of Amazon’s new 3D Printing and Supplies Store.

That was an encouraging move and one which finally made 3D printers available to the masses, at a reasonable price, from a reputable outlet.

Earlier this week we heard some more great news for 3D printing enthusiasts, especially those who are interested in the technology but are yet to dive in and commit themselves to buying their own printer.

Maplin, a leading UK electronic products and components supplier is proud to announce that they are the first UK high street store to offer a 3D printer for sale.

Whilst not quite as low cost as the Buccaneer 3D Printer we wrote about a few weeks ago, which is planned to retail at $500 USD, the Velleman K8200 is still only £700 (a sniff over $1000 USD).

The difference with the Velleman K8200 from Maplin is that it’s in kit form so you’ll be required to spend about 10 hours of your time building it. 3D Printers in Kit Form are proving quite popular with enthusiasts though and there’s no better way to understand how something works than to build it yourself.

On the subject of popularity, there’s currently a months waiting list for Maplin’s new printer but that is expected to drop significantly as more models become available and supply manages to keep up with the demand.

The Velleman K8200 3D printer isn’t too expensive to run either. A 1kg cartridge of plastic resin will cost £30 and is available in a number of colours (including most colours of the rainbow, black, white and pink).

Whilst being able to print using multiple colours it can only print using one colour at a time and it won’t let you swap the cartridge whilst printing an object. There’s still nothing to stop you from printing your design in multiple parts though, using a different colour for each part.

As for obtaining designs to print, you can use some free 3D CAD software like SketchUp, which was originally designed by Google before it was sold on. The other option is to download ready made 3D design files from the multitude of websites out there. Some designs which you pay a small amount for and others which are free.

Either way, you no longer need to be an expert in 3D modelling to start printing three dimensional objects in your own home.

So, if you’re not yet involved in the exciting world of 3D printing, why not give this one a go? For more information take a look at this YouTube Video of the Velleman K8200 which Maplin are now selling.

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