While the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service will be opening on Sundays to accommodate holiday shippers, a post office in London is trying a different tactic: opening up a 3D printing station. Motherboard reports that the U.K.’s privatized postal service Royal Mail is now selling 3D printed products at one test site, offering customers the opportunity to print their own items for delivery as well.
Royal Mail isn’t the first company to try this — as Motherboard points out, Amazon, UPS, and Swiss postal service Die Post all offer similar services. But the move points to an increasing trend among postal agencies (the U.S., for example, recently commissioned a study assessing the value of 3D printing). A spokesperson for Royal Mail explains:
“Most people, we think, will actually order products online and expect these products to be sent back to them through the mail,” he said. “If that is the way it’s going to develop, then it makes sense for us to have a good look at the opportunity.”
(Photo: Graham Holliday)