YORK has been selected by supermarket giant Asda to test a revolutionary 3D printing service from today.
Shoppers to the Monks Cross store will be the first in the country to trial the new device, which allows objects up to the size of a family car to be scanned and printed in a miniature form.
The service is being launched today, and will see scanner cameras capturing every angle of the subject during a two-minute scanning session.
The shape will then be recreated in 3D form by spraying ceramic fluid in thin layers to build up a solid object.
The idea is that figures will be printed and painted, and ready to be picked up as part of shoppers’ next weekly shop.
Bosses behind the scheme, which has been 18 months in the making following work with the supermarket’s American parent company Walmart, predict the most popular 3D items will be miniature figurines, taking the “family photograph” to the next level.
Evolving beyond filling frames with photographs of friends and family, 3D printed “mini me” figures will add a new dimension to shoppers’ mantelpieces.
The lifelike models are also expected to be popular as personalised wedding cake toppers, or a tribute to a favourite pet.
Mark Ibbotson, retail director at Asda said: “We are thrilled to be the first supermarket and best value retailer to offer this new shopping experience in the UK.
“Our customers are always looking for the next big innovation and 3D printing is a guaranteed talking point amongst friends and family this season.
“With limitless printing options available, we’re very excited to see how our customers will take advantage of this groundbreaking piece of technology.”
3D Printing is already available in the UK, however Asda aims to offer the first “affordable” service nationwide with the scheme set to roll out across the country, with scans costing from £40 per print.
The launch of the 3D printing service follows Asda’s recent launch of the UK’s first ever 3D Rapid Scan3.