Buried in the heart of Australia’s most historical area is a business that balances on the cutting edge of the newest technology: the 3D Printing Studio. What makes this cutting-edge is not just the technology, which is honestly in a head-long rush to become commonplace, but the fact that the studio is a retail shopfront for 3D printing. In fact, it is so focused on being a shopfront that a second store is about to open in Parramatta.
The business was founded by Stu Grover who came up with the idea while studying at the International Space University in France. Stu is passionate about 3D printing and knows the field inside out. His shop in The Rocks is filled with 3D printers, has a couple of designers beavering away, and is home to regular meet-ups and classes. Nowhere is the passion for 3D-printing more apparent, though, than in Stu’s belief that 3D-printing should be accessible to everyone. It was that thought that led to him opening Australia’s first 3D printing shopfront in The Rocks and has led to the second shop being opened in Parramatta where the busy streets will expose 3D printing to thousands more people.
It will be fascinating to see what sort of reaction the shop gets in a high-traffic area. Actually seeing things printed is always fascinating, and the Studio has committed to having 3D-printing running in the window 24/7. But the real test is whether they can attract buyers for the printers and for the output.
Stu Grover is not resting on the shopfronts as his only 3D-printing iron in the fire. He’s also working on custom-printed medical supports an idea with a great deal of potential if he can bring it off. But then as he says, “The only limits to 3D printing are your imagination.”
The Rocks Studio is at Shop 5, 80-84 George St; the Parammatta shop opens on 21 May at 16 Darcy Street, Parramatta. For all the details see the 3D Printing Studio website.