Fresh from the news that Amazon had created a 3D printing section it was simply a matter of time before other retail giants jumped on the proverbial bandwagon. Tesco, the British supermarket behemoth, is the latest big name brand to consider adopting 3D printing.
According to a blog on their site they have been trying out a few different types of 3D printers with the ultimate goal of offering the service in-store much like the photo printing services you see in many stores now.
In a recent interview with 3D Hubs they suggested to Personalize that as soon as bigger companies begin to attach themselves to the tech, this is when we’ll see widespread adoption of the technology. “People will want good quality content that they can 3D print at the press of a button.” Said co-founder Brian Garret “What would it mean if Ikea were to publish 100 things you could print to go with their furniture? Or if Nike or Apple start to get into this 3D printing market, then you have high-end brands and good content for printing.”
Ironically if a huge chain like Tesco began offering 3D printing on demand in store it may well kill off a company like 3D Hubs. However there is little to fear just yet as this is only an idea in the pipeline and we doubt companies like Tesco are going to be operating machines in store any time soon, mainly due to the fact they simply aren't easy to operate.
Plus if Tesco thinks like this - “What if we had a digital catalogue of spare parts for items that you’d bought? They could be printed on demand and ready for you by the time you’d finished your shopping.” - we’d imagine that this service is a long, long way off unless they expect customers to be in their stores for 12 hours at a time.
Is this just Tesco jumping on the hype-cycle or is this the way forward? Let us know in the comments box below.