UPS To Offer 3D Printing; Personal Action Figure Fabrications Expected To Skyrocket

The amazing rise in popularity of 3D printing has taken the technology everywhere from construction to medicine to the International Space Station.  But how does the everyday person avail themselves of its use?  You may need to look no further than your local UPS.

According to money.cnn.com, UPS will be offering 3D printing for customers at 100 participating stores.  They will be the first major US retailer to do so, and the capabilities they offer are extensive.  Using Stratasys 3D printers to create objects from customer-submitted designs, one could concoct anything from a horde of toy soldiers to an entire femur bone (although the latter would run you about $325, it seems like it could be really worth it in a time of need.)

UPS will also offer assistance to connect patrons with outside professionals who specialize in creating 3D file designs, which would be crafted at an hourly rate.  As for the objects themselves, simple items take five or six hours for fabrication, while something more detailed may take over a day (so if you've got your eye on one of those fancy new 3D printed skulls, be sure to give yourself enough time for your replacement to be printed before you try out that self-trepanation.)

Pretty cool, but the installation is such a headache.

The demand at 6 pilot UPS stores was enough to warrant the increase in 3D printer availability.  Who knows, someday you might not need UPS to ship anything at all...your recipient could just pick up their 3D-printed present at the other end of the line.

Wonder how quickly they'll get tired of printing out legions of personal action figures? (Image: photographer Jens Lennartsson's 3D-printed mini-clones.)

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