3D printing retail outlets are, it seems, popping up by the week. It suddenly seems to have occurred to some in the industry that physical locations are the logical next step for engaging the consumer with 3D printing technology.
News reached us here at 3Dprintingindustry.com of a different retail story coming out of Vermont, USA. Blu – Bin is an entirely new retail outlet that offers customers visiting the store hands-on design and creation services — enabled by 3D printing
Blu – Bin, Inc opened the doors of its first 3D printshop on Saturday last (29th September), and is excited to be introducing this new business model in Vermont. The ethos behind Blu – Bin comes from seeing 3D printing as a service that can benefit everyone — even if they can’t afford or work a 3D printer themselves. Founded by Daniel Riley, alumni of Green Mountain College, Blu – Bin seeks to fill the void left by larger 3D printing service companies that have entirely ignored offering retail 3D printing design and creation services.
Customers to the shop will be able to order items designed and made in store or provide their own designs for creation as part of a growing catalogue of designs the company has access too. The shops walls have all been converted into whiteboards and customers are invited to draw on them demonstrate exactly what they want/need.
According to Stanwood P. Dolph, Consultant, Blu-Bin, Inc: “We opened our doors at 11 am on Saturday and within an hour we had about 30 people designing their own products on our walls. By the end of the day (we closed our doors at 5 pm) we had 15 orders that we have since sent to our, CAD designers who will send back CAD files for 3D printing.”
Blu – Bin currently has a Makerbot Replicator on site and is in the process of acquiring alternative 3D printers that utilise other processes including stereolithography and powder bed techniques.
The aim of Blu – Bin is to create a friendly environment for rapid design and creation of what its customers want. Through these services the organisation seeks to advance the field of 3D printing, bringing it to the forefront in manufacturing and into mainstream American life. Looking ahead, Blu – Bin will work towards expansion of the company into other cities and towns across the US.