A unique new store is opening up in Uptown Martinsville this week. The 3-D Shop Uptown, founded by aerospace and design engineers, seeks to make the magic of 3-D printing accessible to the masses through retail, design, production, and education.
The 3-D Shop Uptown, located at 20 Walnut Street, Martinsville, will host its grand opening on Saturday, October 15. Doors will open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Free 3-D printed Halloween ghosts will be available to visitors while supplies last. Shop co-founder Duncan Monroe envisions his business as a one-stop shop for all things 3-Drelated.
“The 3-D shop is a place for makers—people of any age who want to explore their creativity or are just curious about what they can make with this technology, people who want to know what the power of 3-D printing can do, even on a small scale,” Monroe said. “It is a place for businesses to find help improving their manufacturing processes, their branding processes, or even help reduce costs by exploring alternative manufacturing methods.”
Monroe, a design engineer by trade, decided to open up the storefront for his new endeavor in Uptown Martinsville after relocating to the area because of family connections—his wife, Jessie, is the daughter of Lee and Linda Prillaman. He and Jessie, who are both able to work their regular jobs remotely, recently purchased a home in Axton and have spent many months working to renovate the Walnut Street storefront in preparation for Saturday’s grand opening. It now houses a print farm with 18 3-D printers of various types, including resin printers, a type of 3-D printing technology which allows for extraordinary detail in the finished products.
Earlier this year, Monroe participated in The Advancement Foundation’s Gauntlet program, brought to the area by Uptown Partnership, where he received a Platinum Award and prize package. He is currently enrolled in a course offered through M.I.T., which also counts engineers at Boeing and Ford among its students, in order to ensure he remains at the cutting edge of the industry.
Monroe is committed to helping other local businesses thrive in the area as well. “We grow when the community grows,” he said. As a demonstration of that commitment, Monroe is offering 3 free design hours and 1 free basic prototype to any local or regional business owner.
In addition, he plans to offer classes so that groups of all ages can have easy access to explore the technology housed in his shop, whether they want to learn how to operate the machines or are already familiar with the process and just want to try out a new idea. “I want to make this technology accessible for anyone, from those who are already familiar to those who are just curious and want to explore,” he said.
Ultimately, Monroe hopes that the business will bring something new to the Martinsville area, serving those who already are aware of what high-end 3-D printing can do, curious customers, and other local small business owners like himself. With 3-D printing, Monroe said, “you can make almost anything, do almost anything. The possibilities are almost endless.”
For more information online, visit https://c3dp.me/.