This is an interesting arrangement: MakerBot has partnered with Microsoft to display MakerBot 3D printing gear in select Microsoft retail stores across the USA.
MakerBot will be allocated a space within these stores to set up a "store within a store" concept, similar to what Apple did with certain big box stores before they launched their own branded retail stores. Their latest 3D printer, the Replicator 2, will be demonstrated and offered for sale within the "MakerBot Experience". You'll also be able to purchase associated supplies, like PLA filament.
This instantly expands MakerBot's retail presence by a factor of sixteen, as their only previous retail operation (and in fact one of the first retail 3D print stores in the world) sits in lower Manhattan.
This move echoes 3D Systems' deal earlier this year to sell their personal 3D printer, the Cube, through Staples outlets. It's not clear how many Staples stores offer the Cube, but we suspect both manufacturers are scaling their retail presence to match their factory capacities. Expect more retail offerings from both as their assembly lines expand.
Where, exactly, are these MakerBot-equipped Microsoft stores? According to MakerBot, you can find them here:
- 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