3D printing has officially entered the mainstream. Custom high-heels, working firearms, and even new homes have been created from scratch in a matter of hours. With architects and designers now exploring more ambitious projects, a new retail industry is emerging around the technology.
In Vancouver, a number of 3D printing outlets have emerged over the past couple of years. Stores like Railtown’s Voxel Factory act as a reseller for premium brands like Ultimaker and Formlabs, while spots including 3DSmith allow individuals to print whatever they desire on the premises.
This week, a new player is entering the market.
Shop3D, a brand that already has a presence in Ontario, is opening a flagship showroom in Vancouver on Friday (January 11). Differing from other outlets, the store aims to exist at the intersection between art gallery and hardware seller. The space is modular to allow it to convert into an event and workshop location as required, and the owners hope to create a layout where professional makers can interact with top-of-the-line printers.
A number of high-profile brands will be on sale in the showroom, including Ultimaker, Formlabs, and Dremel, which will be exhibited alongside complementary technologies like Makyu vacuum formers and Dremel laser cutters. Enthusiasts can also view what 3D printing looks like with materials from BASF, Dupont, Owens Corning, and eSun.
Ken Wan, co-founder of Shop3D.ca, says that the store will be stocked regularly to make sure customers can get much-needed supplies faster, and with lower shipping costs.
“There has never been a place where you could interact with 3D printers in such a focused and dedicated setting, and to be able to fully grasp its ecology and potential, until now,” he says.
To celebrate its launch at 110-8811 Laurel St., Shop3D is holding four events throughout January which are open to the public:
- First is the Grand Opening (January 11, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m), which invites individuals to meet Wan over snacks and drinks.
- Next is the Ultimaker professional, accessible 3D printing event (January 17, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), which will teach attendees about operating their flagship S5 3D printer.
- On January 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the space will host Formlabs: the art of 3D printing, which will involve a presentation from manufacturer Formlabs about the industry’s leading desktop SLA platform.
- Finally, Wan will host the Dremel Digilab LC40 laser cutting launch event (January 29, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), to explore the Digilab ecosystem.
Interested attendees are asked to RSVP here.
Kate Wilson is the technology editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her on Twitter @KateWilsonSays