Royal Mail is looking to grab a slice of the 3D printing market by trialling the technology as part of a pilot scheme in a London delivery office.
As of this week, customers will be able to go to its New Cavendish Street delivery office in central London and print objects either from a catalogue or based on their own designs.
Products in the ready-to-print guide include glasses frames, eggcups and even an engagement ring.
The scheme has been launched with 3D printing firm iMakr in response to the rapid growth the market has recently enjoyed.
According to Gartner, global shipments of 3D printers will reach more than 200,000 next year – double the figure expected for this year. Shipments of the devices will then double again every year between 2015 and 2018, it added.
Royal Mail chief customer officer Mike Newnham said the trial was designed to measure interest but did not commit to a wider rollout.
"3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalised objects," he said.
"It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing to sit alongside Royal Mail's e-commerce and delivery capability."
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