Self-Service 3D Print Shops



Self-Service 3D Print Shops


WEB-228

3D Printing has created a revolution in manufacturing, but it won't become mainstream until local stores start offering it.


Even though 3D printers are a fraction of the cost they were just a few years ago, the average person won't buy one, unless they plan on doing a lot of printing. That means there is a huge opportunity for local companies to offer 3D printing services.

Recently one of my friends needed a custom bracket to hold his GoPro camera. Since it's a new model, there weren't any brackets on the market that would position his camera just the way he wanted, but he found a guy online who designed one. If he had a 3D printer, all he would need to do is download the bracket, and print it. Naturally, my friend doesn't have a 3D printer, so he had the guy print it and ship it.

Although it took under a week to get the part in the mail, the fact is if there was a local place to print it, he would've had it in minutes. As a rule of thumb, whenever you see a demand, and nobody filling it, that's the time for a savvy startup or a mainstream big box company to step in.

All I can think right now is... what are they waiting for? This is the perfect time for companies to offer this service, while there is zero competition.


There is a huge demand for on-demand product manufacturing. Hard to find replacement parts could be downloaded, then fabricated on-site, instead of sitting in inventory.

I think the trend will be that 3D printing will become mainstream, but not 3D printers. There are not many people who will benefit from a 3D printer at home, but the demand for 3D print shops will definitely grow significantly over the next few years. Since most 3D printers are small, it would be relatively easy for existing one hour photo and copy centers to start offering the services right now. The easiest way to get started would be to let people upload 3D print files just like 2D files.

Think of it... a One Hour 3D Print Shop.


, Founder

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