Between now and 28th May, visitors to the famous Le BHV Marais store in Paris are in for a pretty unique experience. On all five of the gargantuan shop’s floors, a massive exhibition of 3D printing is taking place, which should be of interest to those new to the technology and committed enthusiasts alike.
MakerBot Replicators are littered around the store, including in its front window, each one busy at work printing everything from fashion items to houseware. As well as watching devices in action, shoppers can get involved themselves in a series of workshops and classes about the technology run by Parisian 3D print innovators La FabShop.
While not the first time a big name retail outlet has displayed 3D printing in store (see Selfridges), the La Fabrique du BHV exhibition is certainly the largest example yet. With 30,000 visitors expected per day (which means about one million over the course of the next five weeks), it could be a very significant step in 3D printing’s journey towards mainstream retail.
It’s certainly got Bre Pettis, the CEO of MarkerBot, excited:
This is the first time such a large installation of 3D printers has been placed in a department store and also the first time 3D printing workshops have been offered on such a long term and public scale.
The workshops include classes entitled Use Blender for 3D Printing, Print in 3D with Sketchup, Repair Your Objects with MakerBot 3D Printers and Culinary Experimentation. They each run for four hours and cost about €80 to €120 a pop.
If you don’t have that kind of cash in your pocket, you can always pick up one of the many souvenirs that are on sale, including 3D prints of the Eiffel Tower, the Lourve and l’Arc de Triomphe, each of which will set you back just €5. Replicators and MakerBot Digitizers are also available for purchase.