High Street electronics retailer Maplin has become the first such store to sell 3D printers for use in the home.
On sale for £700 the Velleman K8200 comes in kit form and takes around 10 hours to fully assemble. Once complete however it enables its owner to manufacture any object they desire, provided it fits within the machines 20cm³ confines.
The contraption works by applying 0.5mm thick layers of plastic as defined by user inputs to create any 3D object such as a chess piece or mobile phone case in a mere 30 minutes.
Oliver Meakin, Maplin's commercial director, said: "I hope some children will be using this rather than playing video games.
“Until now, the cost of 3D printers limited their use to the professional market. However, the Velleman K8200 kit has enabled us to introduce 3D printing to the mass market.
“We selected this model primarily because it offers high performance printing at an affordable price, making it accessible to our customers. In addition, it requires assembly before use, which fits with the ‘build it yourself’ ethos so central to Maplin’s heritage. Part of the enjoyment lies in putting the kit together, so users are not just investing in a great product, but an experience too."