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UPS, SAP team up for on-demand 3D printing network

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Anna Davis

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Reuters - United Parcel Service Inc, the world's largest package delivery company, said on Wednesday it will expand the 3D printing services provided through its UPS Stores to create an on-demand manufacturing network starting this summer.

Atlanta-based UPS and SAP SE also announced a partnership in which Europe's largest software company will provide supply chain solutions to help manufacturers get products to market more quickly and at a lower cost.

"Speed is critical to us and we see tremendous value" in extending SAP's capabilities further down the supply chain via UPS, said John Dulchinos, vice president for strategic capabilities at contract manufacturer Jabil Circuit Inc, in a telephone interview with Reuters.

UPS already offers 3D printing services using ABSplus, an industrial grade thermoplastic, at more than 60 UPS Stores around the United States.

Under the new system, customers will be able to upload digital designs to First Radius, a company specializing in 3D printing in which UPS holds a minority stake.

IDC Research Inc analyst Robert Parker said the network will bring UPS only modest benefits at first because 3D printers have limited capabilities at present and few printable materials available.

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