There’s been speculation for years now about whether giant Apple would ever sell a 3D printer. Turns out they have been for a while.
There have been some tantalizing hints that the consumer giant would eventually market some kind of advanced 3D printer for consumers, and even some patents clearly in the 3D print technology space.
The thinking goes something like this: there are many desktop 3D printers available, but none truly appealed to the masses due to the complexity of use and challenging operational procedures. If only Apple could step in and make a better machine like they did with their other products!
Wishful thinking, to be sure.
But here’s the interesting thing: Apple is currently selling 3D printers, they’re just not made by Apple.
In their UK online store you can find listed the “Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer”, priced at £1,799 (USD$2,700).
Why would Apple sell this particular unit - or any 3D printer?
It could be that they wish to gauge the interest of their clients towards 3D printing, but I doubt that’s the case.
A more likely scenario is that they’re selling it simply because it’s cool! The Ultimaker in particular has a very attractive design, which by no mere coincidence is complementary to Apple’s current styling.
Apple often places currently cool products on their product shelves, perhaps in hopes that the “cool factor” may rub off on their own products.
Is this a signal they’re developing their own 3D printer? I think not. They may have been investigating doing so during the consumer 3D printing craze of 2012-2015, but that’s probably not the case now, as the focus of the industry has shifted to industrial and professional use, not Apple’s market.
But for now, you can know that Apple believes 3D printing is cool.
Via Apple UK