Plastic printing in the comfort of your own home

THE NEXT time you dash out of work in a rush and forget your mobile phone there’s no need to panic – as of today you can simply snap up a 3D printer and make yourself another one (maybe).

Electronics chain Maplin said yesterday it will be the first high street retailer to sell 3D printers for use in the home, with the snappily named Velleman K8200 set to hit stores today.

Though it will set you back £700, the Velleman can print anything as long as it is less than 20cm³ – perfect for whipping up a very expensive new set of chess pieces or a replacement phone case.

Teachers with cash to burn are likely to be some of the first in line for the high-tech piece of equipment, after Michael Gove revealed yesterday that as part of the new national curriculum pupils will now be given lessons on 3D printing, in addition to robotics and other “cutting edge technology.”

Luckily the printers, which are already available at specialist stores including iMakr in Clerkenwell, are the same size as the normal ones depreciating in your spare room right this moment, and cartridges only cost £30.

Let’s just hope the cartridges are easier to replace than their non-3D equivalents.