Asda trial 3d printing in store

Walmart’s British subsidiary, Asda, is about to start trialling 3D scanning and printing. Next week, an Asda supermarket in York will offer its customers the chance to be scanned, digitally modelled and turned into an 8-inch ceramic figurine.

The models can be made in white, bronze or full colour with prices starting at £40. With 3D scanning becoming affordable, in the coming years chains such as Asda could profit hugely from the printing of the 3D scans.

Retailers will enjoy much greater economy of scale on materials than the home hobbyist can achieve and it will be easier for them to offer a diverse range of materials.

With prices averaging at just £40 per printed model, the company said its service would offer the highest quality results at over 60% cheaper than other retailers, like Selfridges 3D printing service for example, where prices start at £100.

Analyst firm Planet Retail commented that 3D printing technology is seen as a possible game-changer in the industry for its potential to revolutionise production methods and logistics. “It allows objects to be produced at the point of sale – or even at homes – directly from a CAD [computer-aided design] file,” it said in a report online today. And it added that Tesco and Sainsbury’s were among other UK retailers reportedly mulling over possible business opportunities offered by the technology.

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