UPS, the global shipping company based in the United States, believes it has enough interest from small businesses and startups to put 3D printers in its stores. In doing so, the company says it's now the first nationwide retailer to offer 3D printing services.
"Start-ups, entrepreneurs and small business owners may not have the capital to purchase a 3D printer on their own, but they may have a need to show prototypes to their current and potential customers," said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and small business solutions at The UPS Store, in a news release. "By offering 3D printing capabilities in-center, we're able to help further our small business customers' opportunities for success."
The stores will be equipped with uPrint SE Plus printers (of a higher quality than most home printers) from Stratasys, with the ability to produce "engineering parts, functional prototypes, acting props, architectural models, fixtures for cameras, lights and cables," according to UPS.
The 3D printers will first be made available at select locations in San Diego, and, if all goes well, in UPS stores across the U.S.
UPS said that in a recent poll conducted by the company small business owners "showed high interest in trying the services." We'll see if that interest turns into actual use. But if UPS does expand the service it will be a good sign.
Read more: UPS
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