We all have seen the 2D copy & print sections of office supply stores like Staples, the UPS Store, and Office Depot. Such services offer the capability for customers to save money and time by not having to purchase an expensive printer or supervise their own printing projects.
As 3D printing is more frequently used in various business settings, such services for 3D versions of copy & print services will see an increase in demand. In fact, several office supply stores are already testing such offerings out. Last year around this time, The UPS Store announced that they would be launching a pilot program in six locations around the United States, including New York, L.A. and Chicago. This made The UPS Store the first national retailer to offer 3D printing as a service, and spawned similar pilot programs from the likes of Staples, Office Depot, and others.
This pilot program has been so successful that today, in an effort to meet the growing demands of its small business customers, the company is announcing a major rollout of 3D printing services throughout 100 stores in the United States. To kick off this rollout, The UPS Store is designating this week as ‘3D Print Week’. Along with Stratasys, whose uPrint SE Plus is part of this rollout, The UPS Store will be hosting a Twitter chat titled “How 3D print can help your small business” on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. EST.
“We are committed to offering small business owners, entrepreneurs and consumers high-tech solutions in order to assist with all of their business needs,” said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and sales at The UPS Store. “We launched the pilot to evaluate if there was demand for 3D print and we’re excited to be announcing an expansion, giving even more small business owners access to high-quality, professional 3D printing. We look forward to being a part of the future of the 3D printing industry.”
The Stratasys uPrint SE Plus, which you will find at many UPS Store locations, uses fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology to fabricate objects via their ABSplus thermoplastic. With a build size of 203 x 203 x 152 mm (8 x 8 x 6 in), and a layer thickness of just .254 mm (.010 in.), the printer is perfect for jobs requiring high resolution, both small and large.
“There are significant differences between home 3D printers and professional 3D printers,” said Daniel Remba, small business technology leader at The UPS Store. “Many of the challenging and time consuming steps used to prepare a simpler printer are fully automated on the uPrint SE Plus, leading to added precision and reliability, higher print quality and a success rate that is unmatched by a home printer.”
According to The UPS Store, this last year has seen an increase in the number of customers requesting their 3D printing services, which included a wide array of different types of businesses. It will be interesting to watch and see how other office supply stores react to today’s news.
Will you be utilizing these services now that they are more widely available? Discuss in the UPS Store forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below where the company announces the expansion of their offerings. For a complete listing of The UPS Stores offering these new 3D printing services, check out the following link.
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