Royal Mail trials 3D printing tech

Royal Mail is trialling a 3D printing service at its central London delivery office in a bid to explore consumer appetite for the "embryonic" technology, printing items including shoes, jewellery, soap dishes and phone cases.

Royal Mail: 3D printing trial will enable customers to experiment with the tech
Royal Mail: 3D printing trial will enable customers to experiment with the tech

The company is running a pilot this month that will let customers order ‘ready to print’ items from 3D tech company iMakr from its New Cavendish Street delivery office. It will also be able to print customers own designs, which can be delivered by Royal Mail.

Customers can order items from 3D printing site MyMiniFactory.com, which sells designs for printable objects including home accessories, toys and stationary equipment.

"3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalised objects," said Mike Newnham, Royal Mail COO.

"It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing to sit alongside Royal Mail’s e-commerce and delivery capability." 

Royal Mail claimed the market for 3D printing technology would grow 95% by 2017.