Local online publication Bowery Boogie reports that the iMakr 3D printing company just shuttered its iMakr NY Allen Street flagship storefront. It had been a three-year jaunt for the London-based company. The iMakr showroom-slash-studio is now headquartered in Brooklyn’s Industry City, and still maintains its e-commerce solution online. Like most 3D print shops, iMakr sold a selection of 3D Printers, filaments, and materials.
The store also provided services such as on-demand printing and training. One of its more popular items, however, was the “Mini You” profile statuette, touted as the “ultimate selfie.”
The demise of iMakr at 152 Allen is not really surprising. In recent years Manhattan has proven fatal for as many as three other 3D print shops, starting with the original MakerBot Shop on Mulberry Street, which also closed after a three-year stunt from 2012 to 2015.
Nrml, which opened in 2014 on 22nd street to offer custom 3D printed headphones manufactured on location also shut down roughly a year after launching with as many a six Stratasys Fortus system and an entire post-production warehouse. Even 3D Print Heights, which was one of the very first 3D print shops to ever open – located in Gordon Heights – closed down. The shop had opened in 2013.
While many 3D print stores have moved out to more affordable areas such as Brooklyin some resist. Currently the Doob store is still making its high-quality 3D printed selfie service available in Soho, leveraging its global network of shops and services.
Many high-profile 3D print shops in major global capitals have shut down due to the challenges in meeting the very low profit margins of a new technology with still low consumer adoption with the high overhead costs of affording a location which may help broaden the customer base. At the same time 3D printing service and studios – including FabLabs – are proliferating. In fact, many shops have moved into more affordable locations off the high street an turned into 3D printing services catering to more professional needs.
The original iMakr store still stands at its original location in London.