3D printing giant Stratasys announced plans to dramatically expand their presence in UPS Stores across the United States.
Previously, Stratasys had announced an experimental program to test the appetite for 3D print services delivered through the ubiquitous UPS Stores at six selected locations.
Evidently the project succeeded as the plans indicate “nearly 100” locations where 3D print services will be available. (Our count on the UPS 3D print directory currently lists 45 locations in 23 states and one District of Columbia. We expect this list to grow, obviously.) One challenge facing UPS and Stratasys will be the uninformed public who largely don’t understand 3D printing yet. However, seeing it in a UPS Store may cause them to investigate further.
But what exactly does “3D print service” mean for a UPS Store? It means that Stratasys has installed a uPrint SE Plus in each store, to be operated by UPS staff. They’ll accept your STL files and run them off on the uPrint, known to be a very reliable and easy to use unit. Parts printed on a uPrint are dimensionally accurate and quite strong. Participating UPS Stores will no doubt also include a Stratasys washer unit to clean off their soluble support material after prints complete.
If you don’t have a 3D printer or require a complex print beyond the capability of your current printer, you might head over to your neighborhood UPS store and give it a test. However, be prepared for a price higher than you might expect.