by Carlos E. Castañeda

(CBS SF) — Three Home Depot stores in the Bay Area have begun selling 3D printers for the first time in a pilot program to reach out to hobbyists and other do-it-yourselfers.

The Atlanta-based home improvement giant began selling MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printers Monday in three Bay Area stores – Emeryville, East Palo Alto and San Carlos – as well as nine other stores in Southern California, Illinois and New York.

Brooklyn, NY-based MakerBot says the partnership with Home Depot is part of the company’s movement into the mainstream. Home Depot has been selling MakerBot printers on its website for several months.

“Mom, dad, contractors, interior designers – we’re looking forward to blowing their minds and making them MakerBot lovers,” MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis told Bloomberg News.

“We are continually looking to bring the latest innovation to our customers and are excited to offer MakerBot 3D Printing products in select stores and on,” Joe Downey, Home Depot online merchant, said in a press release.

Home Depot’s partnership with MakerBot is part of the company’s efforts to stay ahead of the curve, Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joseph Feldman told Bloomberg. “If they can capture some of the market share first, then they will,” Feldman said.

It’s believed the 3D printers will appeal to contractors and do-it-yourselfers who will look to print custom replacement parts for projects and repairs.

The Home Depot stores selling the MakerBot printers will have display kiosks and hands-on demonstrations by staffers.

The printers will range in price from $1,300 to $2,900.



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