San Diego, CA, looks like it will be the first area in the nation to be able to walk into a UPS store and print up everything from a designer light-switch cover through a part to fix their car. UPS has announced that they are going to be providing $20,000 3D printers to select stores — technology that is out of the reach of most startups and small businesses.
We can also expect a major boost for entrepreneurs looking to prototype new products.
“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.