Officeworks to commence in-house 3D printing service

Officeworks, one of Australia’s largest office supply store chains, will commence an in-house 3D printing service on 15 June 2015. The ‘3D Experience Centre’ will be introduced on a trial basis to its Russell Street, Melbourne store.

The move will see the retailer follow several United States stores to offer an in-store 3D printing service, including The UPS, Staples and Home Depot.

The 3D printing service will allow customers to bring their 3D file loaded onto a portable memory drive directly into the store. Alternatively, the store will feature a full-sized 3D scanning booth fitted with 160 individual cameras and utilising top of the line 3D scanning technology. Customers will then choose from a range of materials, colours and sizes, before the object is printed off-site. Customers can expect a two-week turnaround, and may either collect the product in-store or have it delivered. Officeworks is yet to reveal the cost of the service.

Business Insider Australia suggests that initial demand is likely to come from small businesses wishing to print prototypes, as well as architects and students working on projects.

Back-end support for the 3D printing service will come from Keech 3D Advanced Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Keech Australia> that is best known for creating steel castings for the mining industry.

The offering of the 3D printing service will see Officeworks cement its commercial interest in 3D printing, after it became the first retailer in the country to sell 3D printers earlier this year. Officeworks currently retails the Cube 3D Printer for $699, which has the ability to print in both ABS and PLA plastic.

At Watermark, we have a keen interest in the continual emergence of 3D printing technology, with a particular focus in the commercial and intellectual property aspects.