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Royal Mail to trial in-branch 3D printing services

Luke Johnson

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3D printed stamp

3D printing remains on the cusp of mainstream interest, and now Royal Mail is looking to help things on their way.

The nation’s postal service has confirmed it is to trial a 3D printing service at its flagship central London delivery office, allowing customers to print their custom designs or a range of ‘ready to print’ items.

The trial, being run in partnership with 3D printing specialist iMakr, is being hosted by the New Cavendish Street delivery office near Oxford Street.

Custom designs can be printed directly in store while ready to print items will be printed remotely and delivered to consumers via – yup, you guessed it – Royal Mail.

The list of ready to print items includes everything from phone cases and soap dishes to jewellery and shoes.

With 3D printers still hugely expensive, Royal Mail has confirmed it is running the trial in order to gauge interest in the “embryonic” technology.

Mike Newnham, Royal Mail’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalised objects.

He added: “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 to sit alongside Royal Mail’s e-commerce and delivery capability.”

It is expected that 3D printer sales will increase be 95 per cent by 2017.

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