Called Staples Easy 3D, this latest feature of the company is only available right now if you live in Europe, but it promises to be big. It will be launched in 2013 for Belgium and Netherlands customers, but the rest of the world will be waiting for their turn.
Customers can upload their files to the store’s website and have 3D models of their designs printed. These designs can either be sent to their home or the nearest retail store to be picked up. The plan for Staples is to open in other countries if the venture is successful.
This will be beneficial to architects, product designers, healthcare professionals, educators, and other professions as they create more realistic-looking designs for presentations and other events. Staples has partnered with Mcor and will be using their IRIS a 3D printer with high-quality color printing capabilities and low operating cost.
Mcor Technologies Ltd is a manufacturer of 3D printers that are affordable with full-color capabilities. They are also eco-friendly and use ordinary business-letter paper for their models.
There are companies already selling 3D printers for home use such as MakerBot, but with a price tag of $2,300, it may not be affordable for most consumers. The Staples Easy 3D is a more economical option for people who need the service on an occasional or even frequent basis.
You may be surprised to find that this is not the first company to offer 3D printing. Shapeways is a US company that also provides 3D objects to consumers and ships them to their homes. The big difference is that you don’t see Shapeways in every major city in the country like you do with Staples.
This big announcement came at the Euromold in Germany, but no specifics were given such as how long it would take to print an item or what the cost would be. Those details should be available early next year when the first stores open.
[Image via logostage.com]