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Original 3D printing café celebrates anniversary

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Original 3D printing café celebrates anniversary
Photo: Dimension Alley
15:32 CEST+02:00
A Berlin 3D printing café, the first of its kind in Europe, is celebrating its six month anniversary. The company's founder tells The Local how they found success.

Software engineers Norma Barr, 42, and her husband Amin Torabi, 48, opened Dimension Alley last December and are already experiencing success.

Located in Prenzlauer Berg, the café offers support, education and access to 3D printers, as well as a variety of British-style refreshments.

After moving to Berlin for work, the owners realized a need for access to 3D printers and liked the idea of bringing them to the public in a unique manner.

"We felt that if we provide printers in a café environment it would be accessible for everyone and encourage visitors with range of experience" Barr, who is originally from Hertfordshire, England, told The Local.

Seasoned CAD engineers and designers printing prototype models also frequent the shop.

Those with experience have printed items as complex as medical models from CT scans of patients' ankles and shoulders and a scientific model of thermal convection plumes.

CLICK HERE for pictures of items printed in the café

Less-experienced café-goers include the elderly and school groups of Kindergarteners. "It's nice to get the younger kids interested because they have a lot of ideas and are already quite good at using computers," said Barr.

The café also offers quick printing projects which can be created in the amount of time it takes to consume one of the Cornish pasties on offer.

"One of the easiest things to print are the three to ten centimetre half-body-sized busts," Barr explained. "A person can come in and we scan their bodies in the café. They then choose a colour and have the printed item in about 45 minutes."

The shop also offers the option to quickly print iPhone cases, which can be customized in a variety of colours and designs.

Dimension Alley is one of many 3D printing shops popping up in Berlin. Others include Botspot, which offers miniature models of oneself and prints of everyday objects, and Stilnest a company that specializes in 3D printing for jewellery designers.

And Barr can see the idea catching on.

"I can certainly see us expanding in the future since there is quite a big need for 3D printer access" said Barr. "I do not foresee everyone having a 3D printer in their home."

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