The other day I was at a conference, and someone said to me, “I would love to buy a 3D printer, but I wish that I could try one out for a few days prior to purchasing it, as I don’t think I truly grasp what’s involved.”
The more people I speak to, the more I realize that most individuals who know about 3D printing want a 3D printer. What’s holding them back from an actual purchase, however, is the unknown. The idea of having a 3D printer in one’s home, capable of printing out little trinkets, smartphone cases, toys for the children and actual useful items is intriguing. After all, who wouldn’t want a device that enables them to print out a new smartphone case every day (sort of joking, but not really).
Remember when you were a kid, going to the local rental store to rent the latest Nintendo game? This provided you with a two to three day window to test that game out. If you liked it, you then begged your parents to buy it for you, and if you hated it, you moved on to the next game. What if something like this concept could be carried over to the market for 3D printers, a desktop 3D printer rental service?
That’s just what an Australian company called The 3D Printer is doing. Starting today, the Victoria, Australia-based company is offering three different desktop 3D printers available for rental. The printers, which include the UP Plus 2, the FlashForge Dreamer and the BEETHEFIRST, are able to be rented in one-week intervals to those wishing to either try them out, or use them for a one time project.
As for pricing, the BEETHEFIRST 3D printer will run you 170 AUD/week, the FlashForge Dreamer 110 AUD/week, and the most affordable is the UP Plus 2 at 100 AUD/week. Currently the company is only renting to individuals and businesses within Australia and New Zealand. As for schools who wish to rent any of these machines, The 3D Printer is offering quite the deal, making these rentals FREE! There is no charge if a school in Australia or New Zealand wishes to take advantage of this rental service. Only shipping, to and from, will need to be covered.
It will be interesting to see if other companies begin offering such services. The try-before-you-buy advantage of such a service could be invaluable to someone considering a purchase. However, the cost of these rentals will begin adding up if you wish to hold the machine for more than just a week.
Let us know if you would consider such a rental service, as well as your thoughts on the pricing of these machines in the 3D printer rental forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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