3D printing company tells printers to embrace new technology

Australia’s first end-to-end 3D printing company opened its second location in Parramatta last night, encouraging printers to get into the new technology before they get left behind.

3D Printing Studios founders Stuart Grover and Howard Wood hope to grow the business into a franchise of 30 stores in Australia, and more of them overseas, in the next two years, offering 3D printing services, design and training, and selling printers for small-scale use.

“3D printing is an amazing opportunity for commercial printers, they can offer something more than a commodity – they can offer full design solutions,” Grover says.

“Printers have access to clients in all sorts of industries that have needs 3D printing could fill, and they could be offered products and services they never even dreamed of, all from the one place.

“The technology is still developing and the market is nascent, but printers need to get in on it now before they are left behind.”

[Related: More 3D printing news]

Wood, a former commercial printer at Sydney digital outfit Techno Print, says diversifying into 3D printing could have big benefits for printers with the right clients.

“If you have customers that have needs which could be filled by 3D printing, that’s another service you could provide them with,” he says.

“Techno Print had a lot of clients in architecture and engineering, so it was a great fit to be able to provide them with scale models, mechanical parts and so on.”

Total Print Control director John Burrell was at last night’s opening party, where Grover and Wood scanned and printed Parramatta Deputy Lord Mayor Steven Issa, and says he hopes to start offering 3D printing at his company by the end of the year.

“It’s a natural extension for print businesses so I can’t understand why there’s not more interests from the industry,” he says.

Burrell says diversifying to 3D printing would allow him to offer customers at his mostly wide format signage and point of sale business something new.

“So much work is short run now with clients who come and go and you need to be constantly offering something new. Printers had the same scepticism about expanding into signage not that long ago,” he says.

“This will allow us to get new clients for 3D work and offer them conventional printing work too, as well as offer new services to existing clients.

“You have to be flexible these days and be able to offer clients whatever they need. I already have clients who are interested.”

Grover and Wood met at a 3D printing conference and instead of competing in the Sydney market they decided to team up.

“Techno Print was bought out by someone who wasn’t interested in 3D printing, so I bought the equipment and spun it off on my own,” Wood says.

“Stuart comes from a tech background so our skills were complementary and we had the same vision, so it made sense.”

They now have 10 employees including five interns and are opening their third store in Perth next week. Their equipment ranges from about $1000-4000 personal use machines they have for sale, to $800,000 EOS industrial units they use for their own work.

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