Just when you thought you’d heard all the news there was to hear about 3D printing, something comes along to shake things up once again. This time, that shakeup is coming in the form of an announcement from UPS that they’re planning to expand their 3D printing services to 100 locations across the United States.
For a while now, UPS has been running a small test (they currently have about 45 locations) to see if there’s enough need for 3D printing services in popular cities. As it turns out, most cities outside of New York and San Francisco don’t have many places for businesses and consumers to try out 3D printing–which left the doors wide open for UPS to come in and expand into those new markets. Those locations have done well enough for UPS to expand into locations across the United States, bringing 3D printing even further into the mainstream.
Putting aside whatever thoughts you may have about the company (perhaps your allegiance lies with FedEx), we think that this represents a very exciting moment in 3D printing’s trajectory. This is yet another in a long line of announcements about the growing popularity of 3D printing, including Office Depot selling 3D printers and Omaha getting its own 3D printing shop.
The more that 3D printing is popularized, the better the technology will become–and that’s good news for all of us. With more consumers able to access the technology, there’s a greater chance that 3D printing will pick up even more steam and continue to evolve. And in a world where manufacturing innovation is welcomed (and needed), we’d call that a good thing.
The bad news? Still no word on whether or not Nebraska is in the queue to receive a UPS store with a 3D printer. But as far as we’re concerned, this is a step in the right direction, and we’re willing to wait an extra year or two if it means the payoff will be that much better.
Photo credit: UPS via 3Dprint.com