The Royal Mail has partnered with 3D printing specialist iMakr to install 3D printers at its New Cavendish Street delivery office, hoping to entice the public.
Customers can purchase custom designs or ready-to-print objects, and the pilot program could be rolled out nationwide based on demand.
Here is what Mike Newnham, Royal Mail chief customer officer, said in a statement:
“3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalized objects. It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing.”
Consumer 3D printers can be purchased in the UK, but prices typically top £1,000, not including required filaments. Analysts think it will take at least five years before the pricey custom printers become more commonplace among consumers, with price cuts necessary to increase interest.
The 3D printing market is growing as consumers become more aware of 3D-printed products – but high acquisition and start-up costs are delaying investments, according to the Gartner research group. In fact, 60 percent of organizations interested in 3D printing have delayed implementation because of such high start-up costs.
(Image courtesy of UK In The Press)