Until the FFF/FDM consumer or prosumer 3D printing market reaches saturation – and it does not seem to be happening yet – there will be more and more large retailers trying to get in on the action. Now it’s Monoprice’s turn.
The large low-cost tech e-tailer has just launched the $1,199 Monoprice branded dual extruder FDM 3D printer through its online shop and says sales are going great. The company set the 3D printer within its large 2D printer section, where it had already listed coloured 3D printer filament.
Imad Al-Sibai, Technical Support Associate at Monoprice, told me that: “the 3D printer was assembled by a third party but it was designed and built according to Monoprice’s specifications”.It comes with two 1Kg reels of PLA filament. It can also use ABS and PVA (it has a heated metal build plate) and prints at 24 cc per hour. It also has a rigid Black Powder Coated case, which – at the moment – gives it its product name: Black Metal Housing, Product Number 11614.
Although there are lower priced 3D printers on the market, Monoprice’s is competitivey priced for a dual extruder 3D printer with a 225 x 145 x 150 mm build volume and it targets customers who probably do not particularly care for the product’s rather plain appearance. On the other hand, from this video, Product 11614 seems reliable and able to guarantee a standardized printing quality.
In fact Monoprice’s new venture in 3D printing has been attracting the attention of larger generalist media as well, starting from Forbes that dedicated a lengthy post to it. In the post it quoted Ajay Kumar, CEO of Monoprice, who revealed how filament sales gave the company an important indicator as to their customers’ interest for 3D printing.
It is likely that more large retailers will follow suit in the upcoming days and months and at this point the question on my mind is: when will the market be saturated? Let’s say all 3D printer manufacturers have sold around 1000 3D printers a month in the US for the past two years. That’s 24,000 of them. That is close to nothing for a consumer product. Let’s say they have sold 10,000 a month. That would take the total to 240,000 and that is still not very high (how many PS4’s are there? And that’s just a toy)
My personal guess is that saturating the market will take a whole lot more Product 11614’s.