MakerBot retail stores launch time-based 3D printing service

MakerBot yesterday announced a new a 3D print service at its retail stores, which it is making available immediately.

Customers can now bring a .STL, .OBJ, or Thing file into the stores on USB drive, and items will be 3D printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.

Pricing is based on print time, with less than 30 minutes starting at $10. For larger print jobs, up to one hour is $20, two hours is $35, four hours is $65, five hours is $80 and up to six hours is $100. Beyond that, jobs are priced on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, MakerBot currently only has three locations: in New York, Boston and Greenwich, Conn. If 3D printing proves popular, however, similar services could become broadly available quickly. Earlier this year, the UPS Store announced a pilot program to test 3D printing in six of its stores. The test locations are in New York; San Diego; Washington; Frisco, Texas; Menlo Park, Calif.; and Lisle, Ill. If the program is successful, the UPS Store has close to 4,700 locations in North America, according to the company’s website.

MakerBot says it starting receiving requests for custom print jobs immediately upon opening its first store more than a year ago.

“We are really excited to be able to offer 3D printing services at our MakerBot retail stores,” Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, said in a statement. “Ever since we opened our first MakerBot Store in New York, customers have been asking if we can custom 3D print items. Now, we can officially offer a 3D printing service and have already had many customers who are very excited about this possibility. The ability to design and create a physical object, then hold it in your hands is very powerful.”

[ photo courtesy of MakerBot ]