Thursday, August 8, 2013

3d Printing Comes to UPS Stores

The Economist reports:

THE emergence of three-dimensional (3D) printing will have a revolutionary effect on manufacturing, but it may be equally disruptive for firms that make much of their living warehousing and delivering spare parts for companies. Now, one of the biggest delivery firms, UPS, is going to test 3D printing in its stores.

Stratasys, a Minneapolis company which is one of the leading makers of 3D printers, will provide its uPrint SE desktop machines to six UPS Stores in America for a trial programme. These machines will allow customers to bring their designs to the store and have them printed out as objects—in much the same way as people take two-dimensional digital documents to the store and have them printed on paper. The uPrint machines can produce items in plastic in a range of colours and make bigger objects in finer detail than consumer-level 3D printers.

UPS expects designers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and architects seeking models to be among its customers for 3D printing services. Some people might also be seeking spare parts: it is often small plastic items that break in products, but they can be difficult and expensive to find. Some industrial 3D printers can print metal components too.

1 comment:

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