UPS is trying something new and somewhat unusual. Six UPS stores in the San Diego area will soon get 3D printers. This means that you can walk into a San Diego UPS store and print something in 3D. That's right, 3D printing just got a whole lot more real.
UPS is planning to target small businesses with the new 3D printing option, but consumers can get in on the 3D printing craze too. What kinds of things can you print in a UPS store? No guns or other illegal items, but you can print some things that will edge your business forward - while saving you a bundle of money.
The Benefits of 3D Printing for Businesses
When small business owners want a 3D rendering of a project, marketing materials, or model, those businesses have to contact design experts. Once contacted, designers mold 3D materials into specified shapes, so that a business can then present the materials to investors (for example).
A good way to think of 3D models is to consider the model that a building developer might have to show to a city planning committee. Prior to the new UPS store 3D printing news, developers had to pay top-dollar for such models. Now it seems like paying for pricey models may become a thing of the past.
All Kinds of Potential
While UPS hasn't provided any pricing information yet, it can be assumed that printing something in 3D will be on the pricier side for now. As the technology becomes more mainstream, these types of printing jobs may become less expensive.
However, this is just speculation as far as pricing is concerned. What's not speculation is the fact that UPS has purchased a number of Stratasys uPrint SE Plus printers, and the company is almost ready to launch the printing services at certain San Diego stores.
What possessed UPS to turn to 3D printing? The company polled a number of small business owners, and all of those participants expressed a strong interest in 3D printing. So, UPS has decided to offer the services in the San Diego area as a sort of test run.
Even though UPS isn't the first company to offer 3D printing (Staples currently offers some international 3D printing options, but hasn't brought the service to North America yet), it is the only company in North America to offer this option.
It seems kind of crazy to imagine being able to print items in 3D at a UPS store, but it's a wise move for both UPS and consumers. Those seeking cheaper 3D models will no doubt flock to UPS stores, and UPS stands at chance at resurrection through 3D printing options.
For some time, UPS has slowly been losing business, but the new 3D printing concept may change that. It might be a while before UPS brings 3D printing to the rest of the states, though it's certainly an idea that's already gaining a lot of consumer (and small business) interest. Stay tuned to this blog for more details when the 3D printers officially arrive.