Aldi says it will become the first supermarket to sell a 3D printer when it launches a device that it claims is £600 cheaper than its nearest rival.

Ahead of Christmas, the German retailer is bidding to bring sophisticated gadgets to customers at a fraction of the cost of branded alternatives.

It promises its Balco 3D printer, available for £299, requires minimal assembly and setup.

Aldi says: “This quality device will ensure that prints are clean and sharp. Plus, shoppers can even print directly from an SD card.

“Featuring intuitive touchscreen controls and step-by-step wizards, it’s easy to navigate from start to finish and is sure to provide hours of fun this festive season.”

Aldi also points out that shoppers will save "a whopping £600" against an "almost identical model from Curry’s PC World" – the UP! Plus 2 3D Printer, which retails for £899.

3D printers create three dimensional objects using computer aided design (CAD), building up the object by adding successive layers of molten plastic.

They have not been without controversy. In October 2013, police in Manchester seized what they suspected to be a 3D plastic magazine and trigger, which they believed could have been fitted together to make a viable 3D gun.

Aldi’s 3D printer will be available exclusively from Aldi online from November 23.

The supermarket will also be offering a 55 inch Ultra HD LED Smart TV for £429 and a Bluetooth soundbar for £129.