A 3D printing company in London’s trendy Clerkenwell is launching an in-store tutorial service as part of a bid to get businesses interested in the technology.

iMakr – a firm that claims to have the largest 3D printing store in the world – is in the process of introducing training and workshops for individuals and businesses that want to learn about the technology.

The £29 one-hour self-tutorials take place in the company’s store and cover how to design an object, how to start a 3D printer and how to calibrate a 3D printer.

At the end of each session the student is able to take away one of the six 3D printed items that they should have designed and created, providing the lesson went to plan. The relatively basic items include a piece of Lego and a plastic moustache.

Founder Sylvain Preumont told Techworld that architects and construction firms are just some of the industries that might want to learn how to use 3D printers because they can use the technology to create miniature representations of larger buildings.

“Obviously they are used to using CGI and rendering on screen but touching and feeling the real thing is the next level. Even if they are used to seeing in 3D on screen, the next thing is having it in hand,” said the French entrepreneur.

Miniature 3D-printed buildings allow architects and designers to show clients and partners what they are aiming to create, added Preumont.

Founded in 2012, iMakr sells 3D printers ranging from £700 to £3000 along with other 3D printing materials. It also offers a range of additional services, such as printing on demand and 3D scanning.

Meanwhile, iMakr is currently in the process of developing a 3D scanning and printing service that will allow people to create miniature 3D-printed versions of themselves. The firm said it plans to open a pop-up store in Selfridges with this service available because it is suited to their customer base.

Scientists in America recently pointed out that there might be health risks associated with 3D printing due to the high concentrations of airborne particles that are produced as a result of extruding and depositing plastics.

“Obviously running a machine 24/7 in a tiny room with no ventilation at all is not recommended if that's your newborn's bedroom,” said Preumont. “Running a machine in a large ventilated room like we do here in the world's largest 3D printing store, is most probably safe.
“There are risks that you want to monitor and mitigate. Like riding a bicycle, giving mobile calls, or walking outside in the pollution of our large cities. And operating a 3D printer as well, maybe.”

Preumont said he chose to open the store in Clerkenwell because he wants to attract people and businesses that are genuinely interested in 3D printing as opposed to hoards of curious shoppers that would walk in if the store were somewhere like Oxford Street. Preumont added that a second iMakr store would be opening in “a major European capital” before the end of September.