There can be no doubt that 2013 has been a watershed year for MakerBot.
The 3D printer manufacturer has announced plans to open retail stores in Boston and Greenwich, Conn. in time for the holiday season.
The move comes on the heels of the company's sale to industry giant Stratasys in June, in a deal worth $403 million, as well as a move into a new 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Brooklyn in the same month.
"It's incredibly exciting," Makerbot spokeswoman Jennifer Howard said. "There are only so many chances to ride a rocket ship, and the growth of 3D printing is a rocket and we are all on board. One of our favorite sayings at MakerBot is, 'Full Speed Ahead!'"
The company's flagship retail store is in the NoHo District of Manhattan.
Makerbot has sold over 30,000 3D printers since opening its doors in 2009. The company's newest printer, the Replicator 2, was named one of Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2012.
"3D printing today is also like personal computing was 20 years ago," Howard said. "When personal computers came out, many wondered why they needed one. Today, you have a computer in your pocket. 3D printing is moving in the same direction. Once you are exposed to 3D printing, you look at the world differently. Instead of waiting for someone else to create a product that you could use, with 3D printing, you can say, 'I can make that.'"
The printer, which is available on MakerBot's Web site for $2,199, boasts the ability to make objects up to 410 cubic inches in volume (11.2" L x 6.0" W x 6.1" H).
"The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer is a professional 3D printer at an affordable price," Howard said. "NASA is one of MakerBot's largest customers and due to the price point of a MakerBot Replicator 2, it is at a level that engineers can order one without needing to go through a lengthy budget approval process, yet its quality rivals other 3D printers that are tens of thousands of dollars."