UPS announced a new 3D printing facility in Singapore, suggesting their 3D printing venture is working.
Shipping giant UPS has long been involved in 3D printing; our first story involving them was published in 2013, three years ago, when the company announced experimentation with onsite Stratasys uPrint 3D printers for customer use.
The idea is that UPS clients requiring a quick print could place an order using UPS’s comprehensive online system and receive the print at a convenient location.
This is consistent with their other services: UPS provides equipment typically not accessible by individuals and companies in regional and neighborhood locations. The customer simply drops by to pick up their items – in addition to shipments.
UPS’s early experiments were successful and today we find they’ve deployed 3D print services to over 60 locations in the USA. This means that UPS clients in practically every major city can get 3D prints.
This is so important for many clients, because the notion of operating their own 3D printer is often impractical due to cost, ability to operate, ability to maintain and design knowledge. UPS’s service overcomes all these by doing the heavy lifting themselves.
Sure, you could use one of many 3D print services, but there’s something comfortable about using a familiar provider in the neighborhood, one that you might be traveling to and from anyway for other purposes. UPS is attempting to capitalize on that psychology.
Now they’ve announced the opening of a similar service in Singapore. This can only mean one thing: the experiment is a success and they wish to expand.
It’s a vote of confidence in 3D printing: a major company can deploy the service to dozens of locations and their customer base is actually making profitable use of it.