I think over the next few years you will see 3D printing in shops, because for the missing hose from the vacuum printer, you can print them in the time that someone enters the store, does a bit of shopping and leaves the store. So I can definitely see that being part of the retail offering in the none too distant future.
If you reside in the UK, it’s more than likely you’ve been buying groceries from your neighborhood Tesco. But soon you may be picking you your 3D prints there, too.
In a report published by V3, Tesco’s IT Chief Mike McNamara postulated about a future world where Tesco shoppers could pick up 3D prints during grocery trips.
Why this isn’t completely crazy: Apparently 65% of Tesco’s online sales are already “click and collect”.
Perhaps McNamara is being slightly optimistic, as 3D prints often take many, many hours to complete. Pick up “tomorrow” is more likely, we feel.
Nevertheless, a grocery store is a place where people go. Where people MUST go. And wherever people go, services may be offered. We’ve seen this previously as grocery stores add banking, photo or optician services.
They might soon add 3D printing, too.