Just yesterday I blogged about 3D printing machines becoming available and stated it wouldn’t be too long before this becomes mainstream for everyone.
Well today I come across two more news stories announcing that anyone can get 3D printing at UPS Stores or purchase an actual machine yourself from Microsoft stores.
Stratasys, a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems, has announced today that it is providing its 3D printing technology to The UPS Store, a subsidiary of United Parcel Service (UPS) of America that provides printing services and packaging materials in over 4700 shops in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada.
“The project is part of a test program by The UPS Store that will make it the first national retailer in the US to offer 3D printing service to entrepreneurs, architects, start-ups and other retail customers,” Stratasys said.
As part of their pilot, The UPS Store will install Stratasys’ uPrint SE Plus printers into six locations, starting in San Diego. Customers will be able to bring a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file in to the participating stores and have their designs 3D-printed on-site.
“The UPS Store and Stratasys share the vision of strengthening innovation and competitiveness by making 3D printing accessible to a growing number of users,” said Stratasys Executive Vice President, Jon Cobb.
This news comes only a month after UK electronics retailer Maplin became the first UK chain to sell a 3D printer aimed at the domestic market. In other news, NASA has approved the first 3D printer for use in space, which will be flown to the International Space Station [ISS] next year.
You can read more about the way 3D printing is changing the worlds of architecture, design, food and medicine in Print Shift, our one-off print-on-demand magazine all about additive manufacturing
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Microsoft has partnered with 3D printing manufacturer MakerBot to offer customers the chance to buy their own MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer from 18 retail stores across the USA. This move makes Microsoft the first retailer to sell MakerBot’s desktop printers outside of the company’s own New York store. Microsoft store customers will also be able to buy the PLA bioplastic material used by the printer and in-store 3D printing demonstrations will be available.
MakerBot has been testing 3D printing demonstrations at Microsoft stores in Seattle, San Francisco and Palo Alto, offering consumers a firsthand experience of 3D printing.
“We’ve seen tremendous interest and enthusiasm at the three initial ‘MakerBot Experience’ stores,” said MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis. “Rolling the program out to 15 additional Microsoft Stores supercharges our mission to bring 3D printing to more people.”
At the 3D Printshow in London last year, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis told Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs that “cheap 3D printers mean manufacturing can again take place at home as it did before the industrial revolution.”
A number of retailers have been moving into the consumer market for 3D printing. Staples were the first US retailer to sell 3D printers in store and earlier this month The UPS Store launched the first in-store 3D printing service in the US. In July, electronics retailer Maplin became the first UK retail chain to sell 3D printers aimed at the domestic market.
Here’s the announcement from MakerBot:
The MakerBot® Experience, our in-store 3D printing demonstration at the Microsoft retail store, is expanding from its roots in Seattle, San Francisco, and Palo Alto and sweeping the nation. Get yourself to a Microsoft Retail Store near you and grab your MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.
The Microsoft retail stores are the only full line stores outside of MakerBot’s own NYC store where you can purchase a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer in person and take it home the same day.
The full list of 18 Microsoft Stores that will sell MakerBot 3D printer and offer in-store demonstrations:
Scottsdale, AZ – Fashion Square
Costa Mesa, CA – South Coast Plaza
Mission Viejo, CA – The Shops at Mission Viejo
Palo Alto, CA – Stanford Shopping Center
San Diego, CA – Fashion Valley
San Francisco, CA – Westfield San Francisco Centre
Lone Tree, CO – Park Meadows Mall
Danbury, CT – Danbury Fair Mall
Atlanta, GA – Lenox Square
Oak Brook, IL – Oakbrook Center
Schaumburg, IL – Woodfield Mall
Bloomington, MN – Mall of America
Salem, NH – The Mall at Rockingham Park
Bridgewater, NJ – Bridgewater Commons
White Plains, NY – The Westchester
Houston, TX – Houston Galleria
McLean, VA – Tysons Corner Center
Bellevue, WA – Bellevue Square