UPS (2)

Following the successful launch of 3D print in six markets across the country, The UPS Store® is expanding 3D printing services to meet the growing demands of its small business customers to nearly 100 additional locations nationwide.

As the first nationwide retailer to offer 3D printing services in-store, in collaboration with Stratasys, The UPS Store continues to evolve its services to better meet the needs of small business owners. Over the past year, the six locations saw demand for 3D print continuing to increase across a broad spectrum of customers. This upward trend is in line with the 3D print industry, which also experienced rapid growth. In fact, the 3D print service provider sector increased by 21 percent last year, according to The Wohlers Report 2014.

During the 2013 pilot program, the 3D print services were used by small businesses, startups, inventors, artists and a wide range of professionals to transform their ideas into reality. From inventors who patented innovative product designs to entrepreneurs who prototyped an idea and successfully delivered a retail-ready product to market, there were many success stories.

"We are committed to offering small business owners, entrepreneurs and consumers high-tech solutions in order to assist with all of their business needs," said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and sales at The UPS Store. "We launched the pilot to evaluate if there was demand for 3D print and we're excited to be announcing an expansion, giving even more small business owners access to high-quality, professional 3D printing. We look forward to being a part of the future of the 3D printing industry."

The UPS Store is kicking off this expansion by designating Sept. 22-26 as its first annual 3D Print Week - #3DPrintWeek. Now small business owners and consumers across the country will have access to top-notch 3D printing at a much higher quality than an at-home 3D printer could provide and conveniently located at participating The UPS Store centers across the country.

The Stratasys uPrint SE Plus, selected by The UPS Store, is a professional grade 3D printer designed to accurately and reliably produce complex engineering parts, prototypes, and one of a kind objects. The heated build chamber and soluble supports allow entrepreneurs, engineers, home inventors and makers to produce parts true to their designs.

"There are significant differences between home 3D printers and professional 3D printers," said Daniel Remba, small business technology leader at The UPS Store. "Many of the challenging and time consuming steps used to prepare a simpler printer are fully automated on the uPrint SE Plus, leading to added precision and reliability, higher print quality and a success rate that is unmatched by a home printer."

The UPS Store and Stratasys will join forces to host a Twitter chat titled "How 3D print can help your small business" on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. EST/ 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. PST. The chat can be followed using the hashtag, #3DPrintWeek. Small business owners can get their 3D print questions answered by experts including Daniel Remba, small business technology leader for @TheUPSStore; Mark Skokut, senior application engineer @Stratasys and Brian Moran, small business expert @BrianMoran.

For more information and a list of locations, visit: www.theupsstore.com/3dprinting

The UPS Store® today announced it is the first nationwide retailer to test 3D printing services in-store. Select UPS Store locations will be offering the services to start-ups, small businesses and retail customers, beginning in the San Diego area with locations in additional cities across the United States in the near future.

A recent poll of small business owners conducted by The UPS Store showed high interest in trying the services, particularly for those needing to create prototypes, artistic renderings or promotional materials.

“Start-ups, entrepreneurs and small business owners may not have the capital to purchase a 3D printer on their own, but they may have a need to show prototypes to their current and potential customers,” said Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and small business solutions at The UPS Store. “By offering 3D printing capabilities in-center, we’re able to help further our small business customers’ opportunities for success.”

The UPS Store is testing the Stratasys uPrint SE Plus printer, which according to Stratasys is most well-known for its ability to print detailed objects more accurately than home 3D printers. Stratasys notes that this is particularly important when parts need to fit into each other or fit some other object. With this printer, The UPS Store locations will be equipped to produce items like engineering parts, functional prototypes, acting props, architectural models, fixtures for cameras, lights and cables.

In addition, The UPS Store locations offer a range of services tailored to meet the needs of small businesses in all stages of the business lifecycle. Not only can small business owners receive well-recognized services like packing and shipping, printing, faxing, direct mail and mailbox services, but The UPS Store locations also will work with business owners to develop custom solutions to meet their unique business needs.

For more information, visit: smallbiz.theupsstore.com

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