Wednesday, November 27, 2013

French La Poste to offer 3D printing service, starting with three offices

The EU, and EU members, are quite serious* about advanced manufacturing and although the end products in this article are kid stuff the Europeans probably have the lead in metalworking applications. Something for the Anglosphere to think about.

La Poste, the mail service of France, announces today that it is set to launch a trial version of its new 3D printing service at three post offices: "Hôtel de Ville" in Boulogne-Billancourt, "Bonne Nouvelle" and "La Boétie" in Paris.

"The goal is to offer our customers access to 3D printing and show them what 3D printing technology is. A lot of people have heard about it but never know specifically what it is." said Philippe Bajou, Director General of La Poste.

La Poste will conduct this experiment for six months, and analyze how the general public and professionals react to this new offer.

In each office two postal workers have been trained to use the printer "and to help customers make the right technical decisions." says the company.

Customers will be able to order small custom 3D printed items from a catalog, such as smartphone cases, card holder, jewelries etc. They could also customize the items to their own need, or bring their own 3D files to the office to get them printed.

Same as the UPS 3D printing service in the U.S, the French post office will also provide dedicated service to professionals, SMEs and start-ups. La Poste has partnered with Sculpteo, the French 3D printing company to provide printing service for complex 3D models, prototypes, parts or gadgets....MORE
*Here's the European Commission's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Task Force homepage.
The Task Force aims to get industrial production to 20% of euro GDP by 2020.
Here's EurActiv from last week:
3D printing needs rapid attention of EU Commission