The UPS Store Expands 3D Printing Nationwide

Following the successful launch of 3D print in six markets across the country, The UPS Store® is expanding 3D printing services to nearly 100 additional locations nationwide. The UPS Store will be the first nationwide retailer to offer 3D printing services in store.

Customers can bring a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file to participating locations and 3D print their product design on a Stratasys uPrint SE Plus professional-grade 3D printer. The printer is designed to accurately and reliably produce complex engineering parts, functional prototypes, durable models, and one-of-a-kind-objects. Entrepreneurs, engineers, home inventors, and makers can use 3D printing to help refine their ideas and reduce product development time.

During the 2013 pilot program conducted at six UPS Stores, the 3D print services were used by small businesses, startups, inventors, artists and a wide range of professionals. Over the past year, the six locations saw demand for 3D print continuing to increase across a broad spectrum of customers.

“More small business owners and entrepreneurs are looking to 3D printing to help bring their innovations to market,” said Gilad Gans, President of Stratasys North America. “The UPS Store is at the forefront of a growing number of retailers that see additive manufacturing as a significant value-add for their customers.”

Globally, 3D printing services offered by retailers and other providers are growing in demand. According to Wohlers Report 2014, a survey of 3D printing service providers worldwide revealed that more than two-thirds (68.3 percent) added new machines in 2013, up from 58.1 percent in 2012. Overall, the 3D print service provider sector increased by 21 percent last year.

“We are committed to offering small business owners, entrepreneurs and consumers high-tech solutions in order to assist with all of their business needs,” said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and sales at The UPS Store. “We launched the pilot to evaluate if there was demand for 3D print and we’re excited to be announcing an expansion, giving even more small business owners access to high-quality, professional 3D printing.”

Now small business owners and consumers across the country will have convenient access to top-notch 3D printing at a much higher quality than an at-home 3D printer can provide.

“There are significant differences between home 3D printers and professional 3D printers,” said Daniel Remba, small business technology leader at The UPS Store. “Many of the challenging and time consuming steps used to prepare a simpler printer are fully automated on the uPrint SE Plus, leading to added precision and reliability, higher print quality, and a success rate unmatched by a home printer.”

Adobe Photoshop CC Expands Support for 3D Printing

By radically simplifying the 3D printing process for designers, Adobe is striving to make Photoshop CC the go-to tool for anyone who wants to print a 3D model. 3D printing is becoming an increasingly popular method of making prototypes and finished designs in creative fields such as filmmaking, animation, architecture, and jewelry.

The latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC includes features to make it easier to build, refine, preview, prepare, and print designs for creating 3D models or products. Using familiar Photoshop tools, you can design in 3D from scratch or refine an existing 3D model and produce beautiful, print-ready models. Automated mesh repair and support structure generation ensure models will be produced reliably. Accurate previews allow you to confidently submit print jobs to a connected in-studio device or an online 3D printing service.

The updated software includes built-in access to the Shapeways and Sculpteo online 3D print services and supports the most popular desktop 3D printers, such as the MakerBot Replicator.

Sculpteo Is Onboard

One 3D printing service that is making their printer profiles available through Photoshop CC is Sculpteo, an online 3D printing firm based in San Francisco in Paris. Founded in 2009 by Eric Carreel and Clément Moreau, Sculpteo offers on-demand 3D printing of individual products as well as short-run manufacturing. They have 45 materials, colors, and finishes and their factories use only professional-grade printers. You can preview how your design will print by downloading the profiles of Sculpteo printers and dragging and dropping them in a folder.

Photoshop CC supports the full range of high-quality materials available on Sculpteo, including ceramics, metals, and other additive materials.


Maria Yap, senior director of product management, Photoshop at Adobe, called Sculpteo a great fit for the 3D printing capabilities of Photoshop CC: “We’re excited to add Sculpteo as our first European-based 3D print service provider. Their high-quality results and quick turnaround times appeal to creatives.”


About 3D Printing in Photoshop CC

Sculpteo Now Integrated with Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop CC



Websites Help Designers of 3-D Printed Objects Sell Templates to Consumers

DESIGNERS.Now that anyone can buy a 3D printer at Staples or through Amazon, interest in 3D printing is rising. According to Lux Research, 3D printing will be an $8.4 billion industry by 2025, up from under $1 billion in 2012. Although the models at Staples and Amazon sell for around $1200, some low-end printers, such as the MakiBox, will cost around $200. Enterprise-class 3D printers are expected to be available for under $2,000 by the year 2016.  

What the 3D printing world needs now is easy access to print-ready files for creating a wider range of products. Here are a few online marketplaces through which designers can make their files available to consumers around the world.

Founded by three 3D printing enthusiasts in Lausanne, Switzerland, Cuboyo provides a virtual library for any type of useful object a consumer might want to 3D print and use immediately. The Cuboyo team is striving to take 3D printing beyond the realm of technophiles and make it more user-friendly to consumers. They promote their site as the marketplace for 3D printable objects. Product categories include hardware, gifts, accessories and spare parts, home and garden, sporting goods, automotive, logos and symbols, travel, IT and electronics, and kids and baby.

The process flows like this: A skilled designer creates a file corresponding to a 3D product such as a cellphone case, chess set, or ice cube tray and uploads it to Consumers can then browse through the categories, select the objects they want to print, and download the files.


Cuboyo LLC

How Cuboyo Works

3dlt1-squareThis Cincinnati-based start-up has developed a marketplace through which industrial designers, companies, and makers can upload and sell 3D printable designs directly to consumers. They offer designs for toys, tools, fashion, furniture, and gadgets.

“With all of the interest in 3D printing, and the sheer number of 3D printers being sold, there will soon be a huge demand for content, and that’s what 3DLT provides,” explains 3DLT CEO Pablo Arellano, Jr.

Buyers can output purchased designs on their own 3D printers or have the designed object printed at one of the 500 print shops already in the 3DLT network of 3D printers. The printed item can be picked up or drop shipped to the buyer’s home.  The 500 3D printers that can be accessed through the 3DLT website provide abundant options, including a wide choice of materials and competitive pricing. The founders of 3DLT believe this feature can help make 3D printing possible for nearly anyone.

Arellanno believes 3DLT’s business model has the potential to change the way people shop: “Walmart made shopping easier by putting millions of products under one roof, closer to the consumer. Amazon took the next step of delivering to your doorstep. 3DLT goes even further by allowing you to choose, when, where, and how the items you buy are manufactured.”


3DLT: 3D Printing Template Marketplace

How to Sell on 3DLT

Coming Soon to a Print Shop Near You?

Even if 3D printers become affordable enough for use in homes or collaborative studios, the size of the items that can be printed at home may be limited. Commercial 3D printing businesses can specialize in outputting larger objects or more complex designs on a wider range of materials.

It will be interesting to see how the topic of 3D printing is addressed at the PRINT 13 Conference, September 8-12 in Chicago.

A post on contends that “
UPS May Have Hit Pay Dirt with 3D Printing.” The article describes some of the early successes achieved in a UPS test project to see whether it makes sense for UPS franchisees to offer 3D printing as a service.  The 3-D printing service offered by a UPS Store in San Diego has attracted interest from consumers, students, small businesses, and corporations. 

When I’m in Chicago for PRINT 13, maybe I will visit The 3D Printer Experience on North Clark Street and get my head scanned and “printed” as a 3D bust. The facility has more than twenty 3D printers in house and conducts workshops on different facets of personal, desktop manufacturing.


Enterprise-Class 3D Printers Will Be Available for Under $2,000 by 2016

MakerShop Enables You to Monetize Your Designs for 3D Printing

Learn How 3D Printing May Affect Art, Design and Business


Enterprise-Class 3D Printers Will Be Available for Under $2,000 by 2016

Successful creative professionals can discern what types of technology skills might be most in demand in the next few years by reading reports from technology research firms. For example, designers should pay attention to what’s happening with 3D printing.

Analysts at the Gartner technology advisory service are urging enterprises to start experimenting now with 3D printing technology to improve traditional product design and prototyping, with the potential to create new product lines and markets.

In a report entitled “How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities,” they point out that 3D printing is already disrupting the design, prototyping and manufacturing processes in a wide range of industries and will soon become available to consumers via kiosks or print-shop-style services.

“3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption,” said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. “It is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas. From descriptions of exciting current uses in medical, manufacturing and other industries to futuristic ideas — such as using 3D printers on asteroids and the moon to create parts for spacecraft and lunar bases — the hype leads many people to think the technology is some years away when it is available now and is affordable to most enterprises.”

Broad Acceptance of 3D Printers

The material science behind 3D printing processes and materials will continue to progress, and affordable 3D printers are lowering the cost of entry into manufacturing in the same way that e-commerce lowered the barriers to the sale of goods and services. As a result, the 3D printer market will continue moving from niche adoption to broad acceptance, driven by lower printer prices, the potential for cost and time savings, greater capabilities, and improved performance that drives benefits and markets.

Businesses can use 3D printing to design personalized products, components, working prototypes and architectural models to promote their brand and products in new and interactive ways. Indeed, there are opportunities to create entirely new product lines in which the finished 3D-printed product is what the consumer purchases.

3D printers are now priced so that any size business can invest in them and start experimenting with the myriad ways to monetize them. By 2016, enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for under $2,000. Early adopters can experiment with 3D printers with minimal risk of capital or time, possibly gaining an advantage in product design and time to market over their competition, as well as understanding the realistic material costs and time to build parts.

Furthermore, enterprise uses for 3D printers have expanded as capabilities of 3D scanners and design tools have advanced, and as the commercial and open-source development of additional design software tools has made 3D printing more practical. Gartner believes that the commercial market for 3D print applications will continue expanding into architectural, engineering, geospatial and medical uses, as well as short-run manufacturing.

“Businesses must continuously monitor advances to identify where improvements can be leveraged,” said Mr. Basiliere. “We see 3D printing as a tool for empowerment, already enabling life-changing parts and products to be built in struggling countries, helping rebuild crisis-hit areas and leading to the democratization of manufacturing.”

3D printing is already established in industries ranging from automotive manufacturing to consumer goods to the military, as well as the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Major multinational retailers have the means to market the technology to consumers and generate revenue by selling printers and supplies, as well as from sales of individual 3D-printed pieces. One vision is for the retailers to not only sell the printers, but also offer a service bureau that prints custom items or personalized variations on stock items, a key consumer trend.

Another possibility is for roving display vans to visit the retailer’s stores. Customers would visit these self-contained vans parked in front of the store that contain two or three operating printers and watch parts being made (including possibly their own personalized 3D item).

Alternatively, the consumer could order the custom or personalized part to be made while they are shopping, or to be available for pickup the next day.

Models of chains, gears, wheels, and even a dinosaur are made at the touch of a button on the using the Dimension 1200es 3D printer at Braintree Printing in Braintree, Massachusetts.
Models of chains, gears, wheels, and even a dinosaur are made at the touch of a button on the using the Dimension 1200es 3D printer at Braintree Printing in Braintree, Massachusetts.

Braintree Printing Adds 3D Printing Capabilities

When I read about reports by marketing analysts, I look for evidence that some of their predictions are coming to pass in the real world. On my Great Output blog, I recently published a news item about Braintree Printing, a 30-year-old commercial printing company that has recently purchased a 3D printing device. They will be using the device to enable customers to  convert  digital files supplied by customers into physical 3D objects, such as prototypes, customized parts, and architectural
and medical models.


Gartner Report: How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities

About Gartner


Great Output: Offset Printing Business Adds 3D Printing Services

Learn How 3D Printing May Affect Art, Design, and Business