Shapeways, one of the leading 3D print services, announced it's opening up a New York City production facility. This plant would include a variety of 3D printers suitable for printing customer objects on demand. While they already can do this with a European production facility in Eindhoven and through a network of partner 3D print services, having their own offers some advantages. Mostly these advantages are faster production and possibly lower costs (at least for Shapeways). The reduction in intercontinental shipping is obviously good for the environment, too. Shapeways customers could see diminished production and ship times if they reside in North America.
We think 3D print services is really a volume-driven business. As Shapeways grows they'll be able to add more capabilities and locations. This is but one more step.