News: electronics retailer Maplin has become the first UK chain to sell 3D printers aimed at the domestic market.
Using the simple software to design three dimensional objects, consumers can print anything under 20 x 20 x 2o
square centimetres, from a smartphone case to replacement chess pieces. A smartphone case will take about 30 minutes to print.
Here's a demonstration video of the K8200 machine in action:
Maplin's commercial director Oliver Meakin said: "We have been excited about 3D printing technology for a long time, as its principles of innovation and creation sit perfectly with what Maplin has been doing for over 40 years."
"Until now, the cost of 3D printers limited their use to the professional market," he added. "However, the Velleman K8200 kit has enabled us to introduce 3D printing to the mass market."
The printer comes with five metres of PLA, the plastic raw material used by the printer, and replacement cartridges cost £30.
The rising popularity of 3D printing has led to dozens of recent experiments by designers. Earlier this month Iris van Herpen and Rem D Koolhaas unveiled 3D-printed shoes that look like tree roots, while a design graduate has developed 3D-printed casts for fractured bones.
You can read more about the way 3D printing is changing the worlds of architecture, design, food and medicine in Print Shift, our one-off print-on-demand magazine all about additive manufacturing.