updated 02:24 pm EDT, Wed October 9, 2013
Trial by Walmart-owned store could lead to similar US service
A supermarket chain in the United Kingdom is going to provide its customers a 3D printing service as part of a trial. Asda, a chain owned by Walmart, will start scanning objects and people at one of its stores for later printing, with a view to being the first in the country to provide in-store 3D printing nationwide, alongside its existing printing services.
Customers can visit the York store from October 15th for scanning, which apparently takes just two minutes to accomplish per object or person, reports Pocket-Lint. Starting from £40 ($63) per print, the ceramic model can measure up to eight inches tall, can be produced in full color, bronze, or white, and takes a week to be sent back to the store for pick-up by the customer.
The service has been worked on over the last 18 months by the store and Walmart, suggesting that the US retailer may end up offering something similar to its own customers in the future if the trial is successful.
While Asda is the first major retailer in the UK to offer 3D printing, it isn't the only one to do so globally. Staples experimented with offering 3D printing to customers in the Netherlands and Belgium, and also sells 3D printers through its stores in the United States. 3D printing services, such as Shapeways, are also in operation.