UPS launching on-demand 3D printing network

International delivery company UPS is to launch an on demand additive manufacturing network that will make 3D printing accessible to more potential users. The company has released a statement that says that the solution links UPS’s global logistics network with both the 3D printers installed in over 60 UPS stores as well as the Fast Radius’ high capacity 3D printing facility in Louisville, KY, USA.

According to the statement, “The integration into one additive manufacturing and logistics solution this summer will make 3D printing accessible to more potential users, enabling them to realize the convenience and cost-savings this technology offers.”

Fast Radius, in which UPS is a minority stakeholder, changed its name from CloudDDM this week. Its Louisville factory has the equivalent of 100 3D printers on site.

UPS explained in the statement how customers will be able to use the 3D printing network: “Customers will visit the Fast Radius website (formerly CloudDDM) to place their 3D printing orders, which will be directed to the optimal manufacturing or The UPS Store location based on speed, geography, and the product quality the customer requires. Orders can be shipped as early as same day. While participating The UPS Store locations are all in the U.S., companies globally could utilize the network and place orders.”

Additionally, the delivery company announced that SAP’s extended supply chain software is being integrated with its 3D printing solution and logistics network. According to UPS this will mean that “SAP customers will be able to digitize and simplify the production part approval process through SAP and their orders can be seamlessly routed to UPS for production and delivery”.

Stan Deans, president, UPS Global Distribution & Logistics, said of the new venture, “UPS is a leader in bringing industrial-strength 3D printing to reality. By building this disruptive technology into our supply chain models, we also bring new value to our manufacturing customers of all sizes.

“Additive manufacturing technology is still developing rapidly so ‘manufacturing as a service’ is a smart approach for many companies.”

Daniel Remba, Small Business Technology Leader for The UPS Store added, “Connecting all The UPS Store locations into a larger network provides more opportunity for new customers to access our printers and gives customers added flexibility to match their requirements with the appropriate UPS location.”

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