Printing New Opportunities

The future of 3D printing
Recently, Royal Mail customers were given the opportunity to explore the world of 3D printing.

The U.K.-based postal service is partnering with 3D printing specialist iMakr to gauge customer interest in the technology. Royal Mail’s customers are among the first non-industrial customers to pilot 3D printing.Customers can purchase ready-to-print items online, or print their own solid, three-dimensional designs from a Royal Mail delivery office or iMakr store.The adoption of 3D printing technology is one of the fastest growing areas of technology. Shipment of the printers is expected to grow 95 percent between 2012 and 2017. The majority will be used by large industrial firms.“3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalized objects,” said Mike Newnham, chief customer officer at Royal Mail.“It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we’re launching a pilot to sit alongside Royal Mail’s e-commerce and delivery capability,” Newnham said.

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