This could be the bookend to the consumer 3D printing craze of a recent years: a consumer-style 3D printer has been sighted in a bargain bin.
The item in question was found in a Value Village store located in British Columbia, Canada. Value Village is one of several brands of Savers, a thrift store chain specializing in second-hand sales, typically clothing. They also sell other common household items.
Like a 3D printer, apparently.
We have no idea of the backstory here, of how the 3D printer came to be selling as a second hand item alongside used toasters in the “Housewares / Office” department. But I suspect it was perhaps part of a residential liquidation that was scooped up by Savers.
The machine in question appears to be an M3D Micro, a very popular unit that first appeared in massive 2014 Kickstarter campaign. The company successfully leveraged that cash injection to build a very successful low-cost 3D printer company that is doing well to this day.
There is another, darker possibility: the machine could have been abandoned. I’ve heard several reports of consumers simply considering their low-end 3D printers “bricked” when jammed, as they had no idea how to fix them. This is literally the barrier that consumer 3D printing crashed into: the devices were too hard for most people to use.
And so, we may find increasing numbers of such devices in the local bargain stores.
It’s possible these machines may be resurrected by suitably technical buyers. It seems there may be another place to shop for 3D printers: secondhand stores.
But what a change: not just a few years ago such a device would have been seen as at least remarkable, if not miraculous. Now, it's in the bargain bin. Times have changed.
Hat tip to David