Although 3D printer sales have grown exponentially in the past few years, the cost of purchasing a desktop 3D printer hasn’t changed drastically enough for a new generation of ‘non-prosumers’ to wholeheartedly adopt the technology yet. While on-demand services such as Shapeways promise the same results (or better), the lack of instant gratification leaves much to be desired.

A new startup out of Denver, Colorado has identified this market space and is now offering to ship out a catalog of brand name desktop 3D printers for weekly and monthly rentals.

Aiming to satisfy the desire of having a desktop manufacturing station in your own home without purchasing one, Rent-a-Build sits in an interesting spot that lets potential buyers ‘test drive’ 3D printers before handing over the cash…not unlike test drives for cars.

“3D printing has gotten cheaper and more reliable, but it’s just out of reach for most people.”

build this

“3D printing has gotten cheaper and more reliable, but it’s just out of reach for most people,” said Rent-A-Build’s Zach Dicklin. “It’s still a lot of money to spend on a big unknown. Unless you have access to a printer through a friend, work, school, or hacker space, it’s impossible to know how this tool works, and if it will do what you need.”

…or build this

Priced between $50 to $100 a week in durations ranging from one week to three months at a time, the delivered ‘kit’ also includes a full set-up, technical support and a ‘getting started’ guide so that anybody can get up and running with the printer without wasting their entire rental period figuring out how to use it.

Currently, you can rent a Rent-a-Build printer delivered to your home for between $50 to $100 a week with rental periods ranging from one week to three months.

Among the printers available from Rent-a-Build include the MakerBot Replicator collection, the Solidoodle collection, the Cube collection and the Ultimaker Original and II, among others.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.