As traditional mail is becoming a less needed service, Royal Mail has stepped up in a bid to stay ahead of the 'rat race' - offering consumers the ability to 3D print and ship various objects from their local offices.
Paired up with 3D-printing company iMakr, Royal Mail using their services to install brand new printers in their New Cavendish Street delivery office in London, set to enable both custom designs and pre-made product designs to be ordered by consumers. These products can be ordered online by any end-user and have them shipped directly to their address or picked up directly from the office.
Mike Newnham is Royal Mail's Chief Customer Officer, sharing his thoughts on this business advancement he commented: "3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalized objects. It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing".
This is good news for tech-savvy consumers who aren't quite ready to make the plunge into purchasing a $1,500+ 3D printer for their home use. As we see printers become cheaper in design, we may see them reach our households eventually, but imagine the current market as something similar to photo development. Just because consumers could develop photo's at their house didn't mean they would - generally they would head down to a development store and pay a small fee for the task.
Analysts have predicted that 3D printers are unlikely to hit the mainstream within the next five years, once again sighting high costing as the major issue - along with many people not currently seeing the need for such a device.
We can't wait to see what the demand is like for this printing service and if other companies in other countries will take on board similar methods of new-age services.