Starting in August, the largest stationery store in the UK will begin selling 3D Systems Cube and Cube Pro 3D printers in its stores and on their website. They will also offer several complementary items, such as the Sense 3D Scanner and filament cartridges in every colour available.
While a large office supply chain adding 3D printing products into their inventories is still relatively new, it isn’t unheard of. Retail giant Amazon, office supply store Staples and their rival Office Depot in the States have all started selling 3D printers and supplies, and have even dipped their toes into offering 3D printing services. Still, Ryman operates over 230 locations in the UK, and since they are hardly the only stationary store in the country if the products are successful it’s a safe bet that their competitors will follow suit.
In their new promotional video, Ryman Stationery has declared themselves “the Home of 3D Printing”:
In addition to selling 3D printers and supplies, Ryman’s will also begin offering 3D printing services. Their customers can download 3D files from the internet or design their own and bring it to a Ryman’s location and have it 3D printed for them. Additionally they can also scan an item with a 3D scanner and bring those files into a store to have 3D printed.
Currently Ryman’s is having daily demonstrations in their Strand location in London. The curious can go and watch 3D products being printed in store on the sales floor, or ask the on-hand expert how the process works and what is involved in it. This is similar to what Office Depot is doing in several of their stores, and having briefly stopped into a participating location a few times for unrelated reasons I can say that there was always a rather large and engaged crowd surrounding the printer demonstration each time I saw it. Putting technology into the hands of consumers always has been and always will be the best way to sell it, and 3D printers is no different.
If you’re local to the Strand location you can go check out the 3D printing demonstration daily. The store is located at 430 Strand London WC2R 0QN.