Last month, 3D print shop, Thingsmiths, opened its doors in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with the goal of providing 3D printing services to the average customer.
While most 3D print shops target high-end clients or engineers with big ideas, the owner of Thingsmiths, Owen Tien, said that he opened his business to cater to anyone with an interest in 3D printing.
This print shop is thought to be one of less than 50 3D printing service shops in the USA. The majority of print shops are internet-based businesses, but Tien wanted to bring 3D printing to the local level. While online shops are beneficial in many ways, they don’t bring the process of printing directly to customers, which is what Tien hopes to do. His goal is to bring 3D printing to those who have no real experience in 3D printing.
“It seemed to me that there should be a process where someone with no experience with 3D printing or no experience with the CAD stuff could walk in and have a conversation with someone and discuss what they want to have,” Tien said.
Thingsmiths, while a tiny shop – has big hopes and ideas. Customers can bring their ideas in, and Thingsmiths can print them. They also offer 3D scanning services for about $10 a scan. If you know what you want, but don’t have a concept created, no problem. Thingsmiths offers consultation and design services, to help you to develop your idea from concept to the finished product.
Aside from printing up countless customers’ ideas, Tien’s shop also offers custom-made fixes for household objects for which replacement parts are no longer available, helping customers to fix their items when they break, rather than contributing to landfill waste.
Tien hopes to bring more awareness to 3D printing, by bringing the technology to a more personal level and allowing customers to create, design, and print their ideas.
“We see 3D printing as one of the promises about “the future” from the past 50 years starting to come true,” states ThingSmith’s website. “Our vision of the fulfillment of that promise is every human-being will be able to access the power of 3D printing in the way that they best feel will improve their lives.”