A very interesting new development in the world of 3D printing this week, is that Amazon in the United States has opened a 3d printing department on it’s website.

We obviously welcome anything that raises the profile of the technology, thus generating more interest and ultimately leading to more people having a go.  However, we do worry slightly that people will take the presence of this technology in such a dependable on-line marketplace, as a sign that they are safely purchasing what is commonly understood as a reliable retail product.

There’s nothing wrong with home 3d printers, if you understand their limitations and the degree of nursing that they often require.  It’s interesting to read the first customer review of the market leading Makerbot Replicator 2.   Despite the difficulties that he describes, P. McWhorter still seems reasonably happy with his purchase, however he makes the very perceptive distinction that this equipment is “a project, not a product.”

Have fun with these, but don’t expect them to do everything all of the time.