Some think that consumer and prosumer (low-cost) 3D printing is a fad destined to die down. That, however, would not explain why investments in new 3D printing technologies are not only not slowing down but they are growing and becoming more significant. Almost every day, we find out about new shops and services and none so far have been as large as 3D-World, a 1,500 square meter (that’s 16,000 square feet) space, entirely dedicated to 3D printing, which just opened near Udine, a medium-sized city in Northern Italy.
3D-World is a new business model created by Massimiliano (Max) Soresinin. It is based on continuous research and development of new additive technologies, upgrading of local and human resources, and collaboration with companies and industry professionals to offer the best service to its customers. Currently it carries 3D printers from several of the top brands worldwide, including Sharebot, Makerbot, BeeVeryCreative, Roland, Zortrax, Craft Unique, Printrbot, and BigRep.
Before turning to additive technologies, the large building complex housed CNC machine tools for metalworking. Today, the space – located in via Enrico Fermi, 69 in Feletto Umberto – sells and offers 3D printing services, but that is not all. The project covers all fields of technology for prototyping and rapid manufacturing, while also acting as a specialized service center and a training facility for robotics and industrial automation.
The premises are made up of a 400-square-meter shop surface, with over 20 meters of street front and windows. This adds to the 350-square-meter basement laboratory, which produces 3D printers and 4-5 axis CNC machining centers. The first floor has offices totalling about 400 square meters, which are also available for rent as temporary office spaces with co-working areas and workstations set up for 3D modeling.
Connected to the store, in a 1000-square-meter industrial warehouse, is the 200-square-meter Fablab Udine. The additional space will be used to set up a “Makers museum”, with 3D printed robots, RC cars, a robotic rock band and even a large open space to test and teach how to fly drones. To “soften” the impact of technology, there will also be a space for local artists using 3D scanning and holographic tools.
Most importantly, 3D-World will focus on being accessible, enabling children and young people to experience new technologies, making them physically tangible, and bringing them closer to a new way of making things, one that is also more energy efficient and sustainable. Hopefully, these trends will just continue to get stronger in the 3D World of the future.