3D printing looks to have a very promising future, but at the moment the costs remain prohibitively high to purchase a printer for your home or small business. International shipping giant UPS has realized this and decided to offer to 3D print objects for you instead.
UPS getting into the 3D printing business makes a lot of sense if you think about it. When 3D printing equipment does hit a price point where everyone can easily afford it, people will start ordering less products and instead make them at home. Thats less parcels for UPS to deliver and theyll need to make up for it somehow.
The 3D printing service is being rolled out at UPS Store locations in the San Diego area initially. But that will certainly expand to more stores quickly if it proves popular. The printers being installed are Stratasys uPrint SE Plus units, capable of producing very durable ABSplus thermoplastic models along with settings for fast printing or higher resolution prints.
UPS is targeting the service at business users first, and those companies that cant afford a 3D printer but need quick turnaround on 3D parts. Product prototypes, architectural models, and engineering parts are just a few of the things they expect to be printing for customers going forward.
If the price is competitive, it may replace the need for an in-house printer completely for some businesses, even when prices do drop. Thats going to be especially true if the quality of the prints UPS offers remain higher than those you can produce at home.
Now read: 17th century watch with alarm and calendar recreated with 3D printing