UPS Stores Rolling Out 3D Printing [Video]

UPS Stores throughout the United States are preparing to roll out 3D printing. The new program will bring the increasingly popular printers directly to local stores.

UPS Stores in San Diego will be the first to receive the new 3D printers. According to UPS, the 3D printers are being offered so business customers and “quickly and inexpensively create models and prototypes of items they plan to produce.”

Michelle Van Slyke, the UPS Store’s vice-president of marketing and small-business solutions explains the move:

“Startups, entrepreneurs and small-business owners may not have the capital to purchase a 3D printer on their own,” Michelle Van Slyke, the UPS Store’s vice-president of marketing and small-business solutions. By offering 3D-printing capabilities in-center, we’re able to help further our small-business customers’ opportunities for success.”

The program utilizes the uPrint SE Plus platform, which manufacturer Stratasys says is better equipped for intricate printing of user-generated designs when compared to cheaper consumer models.

The cost of using the uPrint SE Plus system isn’t cheap, with retailers paying $20,000 per printer. In comparison, a consumer version sells for around $2,000.

The UPS Store move to embrace 3D printing arrives nearly one year after office supplies company Staples announced a 3D-printing service for customers. Staples only offers its service online and only in select countries.

The new 3D printing service is only being beta tested at this time. UPS Store officials have promised to roll out the option nationwide if the beta test is successful.

Do you see the value in adding 3D printing services to a shipping company’s roster of available options?