American ingenuity strikes again, as a US Army veteran who saw the potential of 3D Printing this weekend opens the latest 3D Printing retail shop and training center in New York’s Washington Heights. Jerry Castanos first glimpsed 3D printers in the Army’s mobile fab labs, which are modeled on the International FabLab network Fabrication Laboratory concept.
Captivated by the technology, Mr. Castanos enlisted the help of family, friends and the local community rather than going the VC route, to put together 3D Heights, a retail shop that sells a wide range of 3D Printers and scanners and does printing on demand . Most importantly if you read my earlier post about the new MakerBot store in Boston, the shop has the added benefit of 3D Printing consulting and training, as well as membership to a MakerSpace called the Lab. I strongly feel this is the missing link for 3D Printing to make it in the mainstream market.
3D Prints on Demand can be ordered from Cube, Cube X Duo & Trio, as well as the Makerbot, Afinia, Solidoodle or Filabot 3D printers. The Mcor Iris for full colour printing is also available in the service bureau part of the new business. The cost of printing an object on one of the shop’s FDM/FFF machines is $15 per print.
The retail shop at 3D Heights offers the ability to check out machines such as the Cube or MakerBot before you buy and they also carry the Microsoft Kinect, 3D Systems Sense and ASUS Xtion PRO Live 3D scanners. A knowledgeable staff helps you then choose the right printer for your application.
But best of all are the classes! Everything from how to get started in 3D Printing to where the investment opportunities lie in the emerging market are offered in the sleek new space. This is key to 3D Heights success. The field is just so new and far more complicated than the mainstream media leads us to believe. Membership in the Lab is another step in training the next generation of designers and makers.
I hope Mr. Castanos will be able to help customers weed through the hype to find the right printer and learn how to design for its unique capabilities. That is a great service for moving 3D Printing forward as an industry!