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3D printers to be available from high street retailer Maplin.

Maplin are to become the first high street retailer to sell 3D printers which customers will be able to use in the home. Priced at £699.99, the Velleman K8200 will allow customers the ability to print anything they want, provided the design is below 20cm³. Examples of items which can be printed include mobile phone cases.

The 3D printer, which comes in kit form that takes up to 10 hours to build, takes a virtual model designed on a computer and then layers slices of plastic which are 0.5 mm-thick to build up an object. Using a mobile phone case as an example, would take around 30 minutes to print.

The plastic used to build an object comes in colours of black, white, blue, red, orange, green, yellow and pink. However you can only use one colour at a time while printing, which means in order to build a multi colour object, would require you to print each part separately and attach them together later.

Replacement cartridges of 1kg of the plastic resin cost £30, and the printer itself is the size of a mid-range laser printer.

Oliver Meakin, Maplin's commerical director, said, "Until now, the cost of 3D printers limited their use to the professional market. However, the Velleman K8200 kit has enabled us to introduce 3D printing to the mass market.

“We selected this model primarily because it offers high performance printing at an affordable price, making it accessible to our customers. In addition, it requires assembly before use, which fits with the ‘build it yourself’ ethos so central to Maplin’s heritage. Part of the enjoyment lies in putting the kit together, so users are not just investing in a great product, but an experience too."

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Category: Digital Entertainment
Date: 9th July 2013
3D printers to be available from high street retailer Maplin.

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