Today, The UPS Store announced its plan to bring 3D printing services to the masses. The shipping company will soon roll out Stratasys Uprint SE Plus printers to 6 locations in San Diego to test out the new service; it'll be aimed at small businesses, start-ups and retail customers in need of a professional grade model to produce things like prototypes and artistic renderings. At $20,900 a pop, Stratasys printers aren't exactly the kind of gadget you'd purchase for home use, so their availability at UPS stores is a pretty major step towards making high quality 3D printing an accessible option for the common man. Though the company is starting small, it hopes to expand the service nationwide, provided that the San Diego experiment proves successful. For more info, check out the video after the break.
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The UPS Store Makes 3D Printing Accessible to Start-Ups and Small Business Owners
San Diego, July 31, 2013
The UPS Store® today announced it is the first nationwide retailer to test 3D printing services in-store. Select UPS Store locations will be offering the services to start-ups, small businesses and retail customers, beginning in the San Diego area with locations in additional cities across the United States in the near future.
A recent poll of small business owners conducted by The UPS Store showed high interest in trying the services, particularly for those needing to create prototypes, artistic renderings or promotional materials.
"Start-ups, entrepreneurs and small business owners may not have the capital to purchase a 3D printer on their own, but they may have a need to show prototypes to their current and potential customers," said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and small business solutions at The UPS Store. "By offering 3D printing capabilities in-center, we're able to help further our small business customers' opportunities for success."
The UPS Store is testing the Stratasys uPrint SE Plus printer, which according to Stratasys is most well-known for its ability to print detailed objects more accurately than home 3D printers. Stratasys notes that this is particularly important when parts need to fit into each other or fit some other object. With this printer, The UPS Store locations will be equipped to produce items like engineering parts, functional prototypes, acting props, architectural models, fixtures for cameras, lights and cables.
In addition, The UPS Store locations offer a range of services tailored to meet the needs of small businesses in all stages of the business lifecycle. Not only can small business owners receive well-recognized services like packing and shipping, printing, faxing, direct mail and mailbox services, but The UPS Store locations also will work with business owners to develop custom solutions to meet their unique business needs.
For more information on how The UPS Store supports small businesses, visit the Small Business Solutions portal at smallbiz.theupsstore.com.
The results of the poll are based on a national online poll with small business owners. The poll was conducted with 86 small business owners between June 3 and June 17, 2013. The sample was drawn from Small Biz Buzz, The UPS Store private online community of small business owners.