Meet the latest vending machine to make waves throughout the industry, Dreambox. This new machine is a standalone 3-D printer that allows users to create a three dimensional item on their computer using a variety of software programs and upload it to Dreambox via the Internet for printing. The object is then shipped to the person after payment is made online.
3-D printers are machines that print out thin layers of various materials on top of each other to create a three dimensional object rather than a design on a two dimensional piece of paper. The uses of 3-D printing are almost limitless. They can make simple objects such a figurines and jewelry as well as more complicated items such as machine prototypes and even dental retainers.
3-D printers can cost thousands of dollars, which puts them out of reach for most hobbyists and individuals looking to only print a few objects. Dreambox allows users to pay a fee per object printed which is typically much cheaper than buying a machine.
The printers can also print in more than just plastic. Objects can be printed in nylon, wood, metal, and almost anything else that can be dreamed up.
While 3-D printing isnÛªt necessarily new, using a vending business model could create a whole new niche in the vending industry. Companies can use stand alone machines to actually make the products right in the machine rather than having to restock the machine with inventory. Imagine printing out a new iPhone case at the airport or printing out some cutlery to eat a meal from a food vending machine. It will be exciting to see what uses people think of for these machines in the future.