Initially operating as a pilot scheme in the Royal Mail’s Central London delivery offices, the new service is a partnership with 3D printing specialist iMakr and will allow customers to print their own designs or ready-to-print items.
Although 3D printing is a growth industry research by Gartner Inc shows that by 2018 only 2.3 million 3D printers will have been sold.
The analysts suggest that the majority of these printers will be used for prototyping by large industrial firms, pricing smaller businesses and consumers out of the market.
Royal Mail chief customer officer Mike Newnham says: “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.”
The pilot starts today at the New Cavendish Street delivery office, near London’s Oxford Street.