3D Printing is becoming a world-wide phenomenon. Just a couple years ago, the average Joe probably hadn’t even heard the term. Now, 3D printing is becoming popular, not only for uses in manufacturing of prototypes, but also for at-home hobbyists, and ‘makers’.
An Australian man, by the name of Stuart Grover sees the tremendous growth in 3D printing, and strongly believes that it will continue. Grover, the co-founder of ‘3D Printing Studios‘, which is a 3D printing store in Sydney, Australia is launching two more stores this month. On May 21, he plans to launch his second store in Sydney, and on May 30, the third will launch in Perth.
Grover’s stores allow for people to walk in, try out various models of 3D printers, and even print out their designs on more expensive, industrial level printers. Also offered in his stores, are 3D printing training classes, which teach customers the ins and outs of 3D printing.
“Most customers come to us and they have really no idea about 3D printing, Grover explained to CRN. “They’ve got this idea in their head or a bit of paper and they want to print it. But they have no idea how to print it. We help them through that process.”
Grover doesn’t plan on stopping at just 3 Australian stores though. His company plans to try to find franchise partners, in hopes of expanding to 30 stores in the next couple of years.
“The plan is for 30 inside the next two years,” Grover told CRN. “I want to get it out to large centres, like Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, then also places like Newcastle and Wollongong as well.”
If Grover is successful in his endeavors of launching dozens of stores, like planned, this should go a long way in helping promote the use of 3D printers in Australia. Part of the problem that exists today is that people hear about the technology, but they don’t actually know what it is, what it is used for, or how it is performed. Having the ability to walk into a store, see a demonstration, and actually print out their own designs, is a great way of showing the public all of the benefits of this increasingly popular technology.
The introduction of standalone 3D printing shops has yet to really catch on in the United States, or anywhere else for that matter. MakerBot currently has 3 stores located in the Northeast, but other than that, there are very few locations where people can really get an immersive 3D printing experience. It is only a matter of time before we start seeing these hands-on 3D printing shops start popping up in all of the major cities worldwide.
When jumping into a market like this, timing is extremely important. There are always those that jump in too early, and see their ideas fizzle out, due to lack of interest and knowledge. There are also those who wait until it is too late, when there is too much competition already in the market to succeed. Then there are people that are extremely successful due to impeccable timing; jumping into a market just as it is ready to explode. Grover hopes that for his sake, he has picked just the right moment. Only time will tell.
What do you think? How long do you think it will be before we begin to see 3D printing shops open up in all the major cities worldwide? Do you think the timing is right for Grover’s endeavor, or is he just a bit too early? Let us know your opinion in the discussion thread dedicated to this topic.[Source: CRN]
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