Yesterday 3D Systems announced their partnership with Staples for a pilot program that offers 3D printing services to consumers and small businesses. Starting in two Staples locations, one in New York City and one in Los Angeles, the stores feature an immersive 3D printing experience that allows the creation of personalized products. It also allows customers to bring in 3D files to have them printed.
What’s great about this partnership is that it allows small manufacturers the ability to learn more about 3D printing through demonstration areas. You can use design software to play around and create, as well as see 3D Systems printers in action. Each store has a 3D Systems expert on-site to help answer questions and get you started. Items are printed in the store or through 3D Systems and then shipped directly to your office or home.
Hopefully, Staples and 3D Systems will get enough traffic from this partnership and expand the program nationwide. For manufacturers requiring a once-and-done approach to 3D printing, this could be a great service to get things printed as needed. For other companies that are considering getting their own 3D printer, but haven’t pulled the trigger on the purchase, here’s an opportunity to see how it all works, get some hands-on training and ease concerns about the technology — at little to no cost.
"3D printing offers enormous potential for small businesses, and by using Staples, they can print with the technology without having to invest in it," said Damien Leigh, Senior Vice President of Business Services for Staples, Inc. "The test with 3D Systems will help us learn about our customers' needs for a local 3D printing service, and how Staples can help them make more happen for their business through 3D printing."
Take a look at this video from 3D Systems on the partnership and what these 3D printing experience centers look like:
What do you think? Is this a great way to enter the 3D market? Is this a service you’d use? Or is 3D printing just a fad?