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London is very much the place to be right now — with a spectacular celebration of all that is good about the Olympics' host nation in 2012. And right now, the city can boast another accolade, with the Color Company’s seven stores located across London, now offering 3D printing services on the high street. The Color Company has long offered repro and printing services in 2 dimensions, since Xerox first developed a commercially viable photocopier in the 1970’s. Now, the company is moving apace into the third dimension — with 3D printers from Objet. Indeed, consumers can now walk in off the street with a 3D digital file and select the material for 3D printing (from a choice of more than 100), and the printing service can have the product ready within 24 hours.
The Color Company’s flagship store in the heart of Mayfair is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — putting 3D printing into the reach of anyone at any time.
Gregg Newton, Color Company 3D Printing Sales Development Manager commented: “We are still learning, as the sheer flexibility and number of applications means that pretty much every day someone comes up with a new use for Objet’s 3D printing power. Customers can place their order at any of the Color Company outlets where there are many samples on display. These samples point to some of the established 3D printing applications, such as prototyping, function testing, fit & assembly testing, presentation models, medical models and concepts for school & university courses — the list is, literally, endless!”
It is very exciting to see how 3D printing is hitting mainstream consciousness in such an eye catching way. 3D printing as a service — on the high street — has long been predicted as a huge potential growth area for the technologies and to see it coming to fruition in this way is more than a little gratifying. This is a great interface for new and existing users of 3D printing technology, bringing the technology in front of hundreds and potentially thousands of people that may not otherwise be confronted by it and what it can do. It should be said that the service is also available online, and 3D files can be sent online also, they do not HAVE to go in person.
I am sure The Color Company will not be the last, but they are due significant kudos for being the first!