Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft – all these names have one thing in common: they started in USA and went on to conquer the world. In such a world where most of the technological advancements take birth in US, it is worthwhile to take note of the journey of a Middle Eastern country in one of the most happening technologies – 3D printing. Israel has been doing rapid strides in 3D printing space. Very few people know the Israeli connection of the 3D giants – Stratasys and 3D systems. Both these companies have their CEOs who are Israelis. In fact, is largely an Israeli operation after it merged with Objet Geometries. So the development in the field of 3D printing in Israel is not a shocker.
What is interesting is the new developments in the retail space also to target the B2C space. The new store named “3D factory” that has been set up in Tel Aviv furnishes an Apple-style experience to artists, designers as well as regular folks who are ardently interested in the fascinating world of 3D printing. The mystical world of 3D printing was confided only to universities or labs now with the opening of this new factory it would provide the commoners with the 3D printing experience with otherwise they wouldn’t have experienced. Since the factory is relatively new, the printing will take place in PLA, ABS filament, and other plastic-source objects. But the store has yet to announce the materials that it would use for making the models on their website. The store has a retail section as well, where customers can order a model such as vase, lamps, bottles or even brass knuckles and customize its color, shape, size, and a dozen other criteria. Unlike 3D printing labs, this outlet is a perfect balance between studio gallery, workshop space and retail store.
Since its opening the store has been visited by local people, tourists as well as students, who are eager to see the working of this new machine. The store owner also plans to host workshops, educational groups, seminars, printing parties and all sorts of interactive activities, to increase the awareness among the people about this new technology. The store seems to walk on the footsteps of the newly opened MakerBot store- which offers 3D printing services, seminars, workshops and events. The prices of the products that are there in the shop are quite nominal so it gives the customers something far more special than they could get at a regular retailer, for almost the same price.
As far as the long term perspective goes this store plans to expand itself on a franchise model, in which franchisees will open 3D factories all around Israel and would provide 3D experience in their own communities.
It takes a lot of guts to be the first in anything and hats off to the owners of this new venture for having the guts to start ff something as new as 3D printing in Israel. Giant companies like HP are skeptical to join the league of 3D printing but these entrepreneurs are definitely paving the way and showing all, how it is done!