Giant UK supermarket chain ASDA is set to launch a 3D printing service with one Australian retailer already researching the idea.
The Walmart, owned chain has hit on the idea of allowing consumers to bring in objects for 3D scanning, the technology lets users quickly and cheaply build objects such as moulds or shapes of a favourite product. The cost is expensive at $65 a scan.
The Company said that it takes just two minutes to accomplish a scan per object or person. A finished ceramic model can measure up to 20 centimetres and a finished product can be produced in full colour, bronze, or white, and takes a week to be sent back to the store for pick-up by the customer.
ASDA is the first mass retailer to offer the service globally. Staples experimented with offering 3D printing to customers in the Netherlands and Belgium, and also sells 3D printers through its stores in the United States. 3D printing services, such as Shapeways, are also in operation.