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Staples Rolling Out Pilot 3D Printing Service

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared inReadyMade,ct Magazin fr Computertechnik, andThe Wall Street Journal.

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IrelandsMcor Technologies, whosepaper-based 3D printing process we wrote aboutjust last Monday, has entered into a deal with Staples Printing Systems Division to launch a new 3D printing service called Staples Easy 3D.  The service will be offered starting in early 2013 in the Netherlands and Belgium only, with plans to expand to other countries soon thereafter. It will provide full-color 3D models printed usingMcors full-color paper-based IRIS printer, which takes regular letter-sized paper and has a build envelope of 9.39 6.89 5.9in. [viaPopSci]

Mcor Technologies and Staples division launch 3D printing service Mcor Technologies

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared inReadyMade,ct Magazin fr Computertechnik, andThe Wall Street Journal.

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3D Printing Goes Prime Time As Staples To Offer Easy 3D Service

Excited about the potential of 3D printing but not quite ready to invest in a printer for your home? Then you are just the market that Staples is looking to woo as it moves into the 3D printing space.

In a partnership with Ireland-based commercial 3D printer manufacturer Mcor Technologies,the office chain megastore will be launchingthe Staples Easy 3D service. Through the company website, customers upload design files for printing and can then opt to either pick them up at the local store or have them delivered. The service is scheduled to launch in early 2013 in The Netherlands and Belgium, and plans to bring it to U.S. stores are surely in the works.

If youre curious why these two companies make good bedfellows, the service will utilize Mcors IRIS 3D printer, which cuts regular A4 office paper to form 0.1mm layers. Photorealistic color printing of each sheet is possible in over a million colors with resolutions of 5760 x 1440 x 508dpi thanks to Mcors True Color technology,according to the companys website. Each sheet is then glued together to form a compact model with a hardness close to wood. The surrounding support paper is then removed from the object by the technician.

Heres the promotional video for the service (note it loops ad infinitum):

Its important to point out that this promo is somewhat misleading. It gives the impression that all you have to do is upload a picture of the object you want printed, but the IRIS printer requires a CAD file format. A single 2D image doesnt translate into a 3D scan, unless a sophisticated object recognition system was used. Now, a series of images can be used to build 3D models usingthe free 123D Catch app from AutoDesk, for instance, but it doesnt appear as if Staples is adding anything like this to the program, at least at this stage of the game.

On the surface, this move by the office supply chain store could be interpreted in two different ways. On one hand, it may look like a natural evolution of 2D paper printing into 3D paper printing, now that the cost of 3D printers has decreased and demand for the services have increased. This is feasible considering that the company has found a clever way to extend the utility of a product they already carry, paper. In addition, Mcor claims that the IRIS printer has the highest color capability and lower operating cost of any commercial printer, making a low-cost risk to test the service with customers.

On the other hand, one could interpret this announcement as a desperation grab from a staple (pun intended) in yet another industry being made obsolete by the digitization of just about everything and online superstores like Amazon.

Regardless of why Staples is starting the program, it will likely be a good thing for 3D printing as it will be yet another avenue for the masses to get into this emerging technology. In fact,3D printing photo boothsare starting to show up across the globe, with other large companies likeDisney experimenting with what the tech can dofor its brand. Furthermore, we are still far froma time when theres a 3D printer in every home, so this is an ideal window for a company like Staples to gauge interest and perform some market research. After all, the stores do carry regular printers as well, why not 3D printers in a few years?

In a few years time, the landscape of 3D printing will surely look much different, and Im sure well look back at this time and wonder why there was so much trepidation about a no-brainer technology. Until then, each tiny step that 3D printing takes gets longer in stride, and surely it will be only a matter of time before it is in a full gallop.

To get a sense of how realistic the finished printed objects look, check out this short video that shows what the IRIS printer can produce:

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Staples 3D Printing Service Arrives in New York and Los Angeles

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(FastCompany)Staples has opened two experimental 3D printing service centers in New York and Los Angeles after two years of European trials. The idea is to educate consumers and small businesses about 3D printing and more easily facilitate its use. The centerswhich opened inside the Fifth Avenue and Studio City stores in the last monthare in partnership with 3D Systems, which is providing the design, scanning and printing hardware and software. Staples offers assistance from 3D printing experts and eventually plans more such centers.

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MCOR TECHNOLOGIES AND STAPLES GO LIVE WITH STAPLES MYEASY3D 3D PRINTING SERVICE

MCOR TECHNOLOGIES AND STAPLES GO LIVE WITH STAPLES MYEASY3D 3D PRINTING SERVICE

MCOR TECHNOLOGIES AND STAPLES GO LIVE WITH STAPLES MYEASY3D 3D PRINTING SERVICE

Low-cost, Full-Colour, Professional-class 3D Printing Now Available to Everyone

DUNLEER, IRELAND, 17 September 2013Mcor Technologies Ltd, manufacturer of the only line of desktop paper-based 3D printers in the world announced today that Staples new 3D printing service, Staples myeasy3D, is now available online via theStaples Office Centre.

Staples myeasy3D offers consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others low-cost, durable, brilliantly coloured, photorealistic 3D printed products from Staples stores. Customers just upload electronic files to theStaples Office Centreand pick up the models in their nearby Staples stores, or have them shipped to their address. Staples produces the models with theMcor IRIS,a 3D printer with the highest colour capability in the industry and lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer.

Mcor announced the launch of Staples myeasy3D today at theInside 3D Printing Conference & Expo,booth 134.

Given our market leadership in commercial print, why would we ever stop at two dimensions? said President Wouter Van Dijk, president of the Staples Printing Systems Division in Europe. Customised parts, prototypes, art objects, architectural models, medical models and 3D maps are items customers need today, in a more affordable and more accessible manner. Mcor will help us to keep prices low, quality high and colour brilliant as we meet the demand.

Although 3D printing is evolving on a similar path to 2D printing, there are no safe, full-colour, low-cost, high-quality 3D printers available on the market today that are suitable for true consumer in-home use. Until that time, consumers will look to service bureaus, said Mcor Technologies co-founder and CEO Dr. Conor MacCormack. Staples is uniquely positioned to become the top service bureau to the world, and we will help them deliver highest quality and value. Staples myeasy3D is a breakthrough service in innovation and access for consumers and businesses alike.

The online platform for Staples myeasy3D is now available in the Netherlands and will be further enhanced with customization apps and designer support in the very near future, said Oscar Pakasi, director business development of Staples Printing Systems, who is responsible for developing the concept and the design of the Staples myeasy3D print service platform.

Mcor IRIS full-colour 3D printers also power Staples First 3D Printing Experience Centre in the Staples Office Centre in Almere, The Netherlands. The Staples Experience Centre provides a hands-on 3D printing experience where consumers learn all about 3D printing. Visitors interact with Mcor 3D printers, examine full-colour, paper 3D printed models, as well as attend 3D printing presentations and workshops.

Mcor Technologies Ltd is an innovative manufacturer of the worlds most affordable, full-colour and eco-friendly 3D printers. They are the only 3D printers to use ordinary business-letter paper as the build material, a choice that renders durable, stable and tactile models. Established in 2004 with a talented team of specialists in the area of 3D printing, software and CAD/CAM, Mcors vision is to make 3D printing more accessible to everyone. The company operates internationally from offices in Ireland, the UK and America.

3D Printing Goes Mainstream Staples to Offer 3D Printing Service

If there was ever a doubt that 3D printing would become a mainstream megatrend, this story should remove that doubt:

Staples has announced it will be offering a 3D printing service via its Office Supply stores.  The announcement was made today at Euromold 2012.  While this isnt the first 3D printing service, it is the first to be announced by a household name like Staples.

The new service will be called Staples Easy 3D.  To use the service, customers upload their designs to Staples website, then pick up the printed objects at their local Staples.  They can even have the printed object shipped to their home or business, similar to the photo and document printing service they already offer.  The machines theyll be using areMcor IRIS 3D Printers.

The specs on the IRIS are impressive:

 Resolution of 5760 x 1440 x 508dpi (XYZ).  Printed layers are 0.004 thick, while the X and Y axes have a resolution of 0.0004.

 Printable object size options are A4 Paper: 256 x 169 x 150mm, and Letter Paper: 9.39 x 6.89 x 5.9in

 Input file types:  STL, OBJ, VRML

Resolution is pretty goodbetter than most plastic filament printers but not quite as good as something like theForm 1 I wrote about earlier.  The technology behind the printer is pretty wild too.  Essentially it prints on paper which is then automatically stacked and glued together to create the model.  The resulting models are said to be like wood.  I would think the wood might make it possible to do lost wax-style casting by embedding the model in casting material and then burning it out in a kiln.  If a process like that is possible, the service might be a real boon to cottage CNC jewelers.  It also seems likely that this technology might result in relatively cheap prints.  After all, it is not that different than normal color printing on paper.

One of the best features of the IRIS is that color is automatic and goes throughout the model.  Here is a skull printed with the IRIS:

Color on this 3D printed skull came directly out of the IRIS printer

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, not the least of which is how much the service will cost.  Its hard to believe it can be too terribly expensive and still be worth deploying through an outlet like Staples.  If these full color high resolution 3D prints are available at a reasonable price, we could see a lot more 3D printing taking off.  Im also wondering about the software side.  What are the requirements of the IRIS technology on the model and how will Staples be sure users of this 3D printing service have a high success rate?  Nobody will want to pay for an expensive 3D print only to see it is unusable when they actually receive it.

While the announcement was made today, availability of the service is still a ways in the future.  Itll be tested first in Europe, in the Netherlands and Belgium in Q1 2013.  No word yet on pricing or availability in the US.

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3D Printing Goes Mainstream: Staples to Offer 3D Printing Service

Manufacturing is Cool Again: Its About Time – CNCCookbook CNC Blog CNCCookbook CNC Blog- […] like Staples are announcing trials that give the public access to 3D printing.  We wrote about Staples 3D printing

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Staples to Offer Low Cost 3D Printing Service

Staples to Offer Low Cost 3D Printing Service

3D printer maker Mcor Technologies said it has signed a deal with Staples to offer a 3D printing services to its customers.

When available, consumers can simply upload 3D files in STL, OBJ, or VRML formats to the Staples website and Staples would then send the finished product via mail. The service called Staples Easy 3D will initially be rolled out in the Netherlands and Belgium in Q1 2013. Other countries will follow quickly, Mcor said.

The service will use Mcors new Iris 3D printer, which was launched at Euromold 2012, which is currently held in Frankfurt, Germany.

Given our market leadership in commercial print, why would we ever stop at two dimensions? said Wouter Van Dijk, president of the Staples Printing Systems Division in Europe, in a prepared statement. Customized parts, prototypes, art objects, architectural models, medical models and 3D maps are items customers need today, in a more affordable and more accessible manner. Mcor will help us to keep prices low, quality high and color brilliant as we meet the demand. Mcor said that the Iris printer supports more than one million hues simultaneously as it creates photo-realistic physical objects from 3D data. The maximum resolution is 5760 x 1440 x 508 dpi.

If you dont want to wait for Staples, Mcor would also be happy to sell to a 3D printer beginning in December. Iris is priced at 11,300 Euros, which translates to about $15,900.

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Stupid. Why is everything internet-based? They should have these machines at the stores and you could come in the morning with your files and pick it up when its done.

this is the future of 3d printing. i dont see it entering the home in mass for a very long time, if ever. hopefully the costs will be reasonable

Why HomeDepot or Lowes havent done this yet, I can only guess.

Stupid. Why is everything internet-based? They should have these machines at the stores and you could come in the morning with your files and pick it up when its done.

Its not stupid. Having a 3D printing machine in each and every Staples outlet at this stage is more egregious. Its not a proven business model, it requires significant fixed cost, including space/equipment, and it needs skilled manpower to operate such machine – for now. From business perspective, no sane and capable board member will approve such business strategy. Sometime later, maybe sooner than I expected, we maybe able to see those 3D printing machine at Target alongside Kodak photo finish machine we see today. But not now.

Stupid. Why is everything internet-based? They should have these machines at the stores and you could come in the morning with your files and pick it up when its done.

at $15K per machine plus supply cost it doesnt make financial sense to put one in every store – and since the print time can be fairly long youd still have problems where one location would have a back log of projects while other machines sat unused – plus if a machine malfunctioned youd have a location unable to process requests for a few days while the machine was repaired causing delays and loss of sales. So makes much more sense to have a central location with several machines so that jobs can be routed to the resources available in a more efficient manner.

If the highest is 5760 x 1440 x 508 DPI, is the biggest item it can make a 1 inch square with different resolutions in lwh?

Can you print out this file I have?

Can you print out this file I have?Sure, just upload it to our site!

Last part apparently got cut…was supposed to say something about male genitals.

Why HomeDepot or Lowes havent done this yet, I can only guess.

I think that is because they are more hardware type of stores than tech stores.

When is the last time you went to Home Depot or Lowes to buy a printer?

Last part apparently got cut…was supposed to say something about male genitals.

lol, im pretty sure that everyones first thought was to send in obscene objects, for print; the thought of them printing, then rolling up a penis in bubble wrap, is hilarious.

Stupid. Why is everything internet-based? They should have these machines at the stores and you could come in the morning with your files and pick it up when its done.

As someone who use to work in a Staples Copy and Print center: Are you serious? $15,500 per device is way too expensive to deploy in every Staples center. Plus there is a rather limited footprint allotted to the copy and print center which is typically already rather crammed full of normal print supplies. Having the square footage to add such a huge printer, plus the bulky plastic supplies that it needs, would be monumental compared to the nitch use it will get. And to top it all off: Copy and Print Center employees cant even use photoshop… how do you expect them to know how to run a machine (and the software that goes with it) as complicated as this without having several mistakes along the way? It would be much more practical to have this work done at a central print house, and shipped to your store like they do with most specialty orders.

All that said… I think that the wall above my computer is missing a nice 3D map of skyrim…

this is the future of 3d printing. i dont see it entering the home in mass for a very long time, if ever. hopefully the costs will be reasonable

you can build your own printer for 500

some newer ones can be built for 1000 and offer insnely good detail

and the best ones for home use are in the 2000$ range

now if you work in 3d and would love to print off what you make, these are a bargain.

we arent there yet for a 3d printer to replace injection molds but when they do… my god, you will see crap come WAY down in price, from either the original manufactures, or from 3d printers. as why would you pay 20-50$ for a part when you can make it for 1$

at some point they will pay for themselves, expecially if you use them much.

for people who are a bit more ambitious

once these printers work, you will see a whole new era of children being amased by what they can build with little effort.

hell i could build a working plan that you could remote control with a 3d printer…

i cant wait for them to come down in price just a bit more… my buy point is 250$ for something hard to use, and 500$ for something easy to use, but quality needs to be procice, and somewhat sturdy.

I think that is because they are more hardware type of stores than tech stores.When is the last time you went to Home Depot or Lowes to buy a printer?

But something should be said. I mean, why wouldnt Lowes or HD want to get into architecture design printing business? I would imagine a lot more hardware store customers would be interested in 3D printing for landscapes and build models than Staples customers.

I think I read an article on who knows which site about a company that makes 3D printers that can build a whole house. I cant remember where I read about it. Maybe someone else knows. Something that would make a construction worker feel a bit uneasy about if you know what I mean.

Yes, Staples sold me a Staples brand rotary paper cutter, that Staples does not sale replacement blades for!

I am sure their are going to be places in every city, that will have very good 3D printers, that will offer better service tan Staples!

Its good to see a big company like Staples get into this. I just did a project this quarter about how the average user can get into 3D printing. Very cool to see people taking this an interest in this technology!

For those who are interested in 3D printing, but dont want to wait for Staples to offer this to their country, you can check out .

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Staples to offer consumers on-demand and on-site 3D printing service

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Staples to offer consumers on-demand and on-site 3D printing service

Staples takes a great step forward for 3D printing, is launching an in-store, on-demand 3D printing service in the United States

It looks like Staples is about to offer its US-based consumers the option to print products on-demand, and on-site using 3D printers. The retailer will offer action figures and personalized Starfleet officers to walk-in consumers.

Staples has added that it wants to get the attention of small businesses with its new 3D printing venture. Consumers on the other hand will have access to up to seven different printers and six differing types of materials in-store, including the Cube and Cube X models that Staples already offers. The larger goods will be handed over to 3D Systems, which is the company who printed a 3D-printed guitar.

The retailer will also be offering up trained graphic design consultants, where theyll help consumers model their vision to reality. At the moment, there is no ETA on when Staples will be rolling this out, but it shouldnt be too far away now.

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Staples Makes More 3D Printing Happen With New Online Platform

Staples Makes More 3D Printing Happen With New Onl…

Staples Makes More 3D Printing Happen With New Online Platform

Thursday, September 10, 2015 6:57 am EDT

Staples will become an entry point for both businesses and the general public to benefit of 3D printing, and we are proud that Sculpteos technology will help to make that possible.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced a newonline 3D printing platformwhich will let small businesses and consumers upload their own 3D designs or select from a curated assortment of models. The site is scheduled to go live on m the week of September 14.

The new platform will allow users to submit their own 3D files, and customize designs by selecting from a wide array of materials and colors as well as adding text, figures, and images to any printable project. The platform also features a responsive, interactive 3D viewer so users can preview their creation before its printed.

Staples has offered 3D printing as a service in its retail locations and through its Copy & Print sales teams, but the new service offering makes 3D printing even easier for businesses.

This is a great addition for our business customers that are looking for an easy way to prototype with quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price, said Behzad Soltani, vice president of services, e-commerce for Staples, Inc. The platform allows beginners to get a taste and try 3D printing by selecting one of our existing models and making it their own through our customization options.

The platform is powered bySculpteo, an online 3D printing service that offers on-demand 3D printing of individual products as well as short-run manufacturing.

We are thrilled to support Staples through our 3D Printing Cloud Engine. This is an exciting time for 3D Printing in Retail said Clment Moreau, CEO & Co-Founder of Sculpteo, Staples will become an entry point for both businesses and the general public to benefit of 3D printing, and we are proud that Sculpteos technology will help to make that possible.

Staples previously announced in May of 2013 that it would be thefirst major U.S. retailer to carry 3D printers. The company has since rolled out 3D printing hardware and accessories in a limited number of stores, andexpanded its overall product selectionto include printers byMakerBot. The company also launched in-store3D printing services in pilot stores in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as ina limited number of stores supported by Stratasys.

About StaplesStaples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they want, whether its in-store, online or on mobile devices. Staples offers more products than ever, such as technology, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, safety supplies, medical supplies, and Copy and Print services. Staples also offers free shipping for Staples Rewards Members, in most cases overnight. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples (SPLS) is available at

About SculpteoSculpteo is an online 3D printing service based in San Francisco and Paris. They offer on-demand 3D printing of individual products as well as short-run manufacturing. They have 45 materials, colors, and finishes available, plus superior file analysis and repair. Their factories use only professional printers and provide fast turnaround with worldwide delivery. Sculpteo was founded in 2009 by Eric Carreel and Clment Moreau. For more information visit:

Staples new online 3D printing platform will let small businesses and consumers upload their own 3D designs or select from a curated assortment of models. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The new platform will allow users to submit their own 3D files, and customize designs by selecting from a wide array of materials and colors as well as adding text, figures, and images to any printable project. (Photo: Business Wire)

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FedEx Office 3d printing(self.3Dprinting)

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We are proposing FedEx Office to offer 3d printing service. Basically you can either bring your own 3D models or buy products from online retailers and have them customized and printed in the nearby FedEx Office. Let us know your thoughts? Thank you.

MendelMax 2.0 MP Select Mini3 points4 points5 points3 years ago(1 child)

Its a great idea, I was under the impression your link would take me to something other than a promo page. You may want to list the limitations of the tech somewhere, or include a link to such information. Poly jet prints are not suitable for many applications, and it would be a bummer to order something and not be given the opportunity to at least have some initial check to ensure the end product would meet and strength or tensile needs.

Also, I see models which are covered with licenses, however i see no attribution to the creators. Better fix that.

3D Musketeers – Zcorp 650 – Fusion 3 F400 – Taz 6 – i3 – Press1 point2 points3 points3 years ago(0 children)

I have to agree with the edit. You all used tons of photos from tons of printers, the helmet being from a Connex 3 (seen and held that helmet, would wear) which is over $300,000. Give credit where it is due.

You would be better off working with a company like mine and work it in that way.. We need a bit more proof than just this small page though. Letters of intent from FedEx and the documents allowing for use of logos and photos otherwise it may be best to take this down. Not trying to rain on your parade, just keeping you from lawyer issues. Hopefully you have the documents already though.

Type A Machines – Series 1 (owner)0 points1 point2 points3 years ago(0 children)

I think you should considering UPS has been doing this already.See here.

0 points1 point2 points3 years ago(3 children)

I was talking with some friends about the future of this industry and I thought it was natural that FedEx kinkos would do this. So you must do it and prove me right.

One question, how will you charge the customer? By print time, amount of material used, or what?

0 points1 point2 points3 years ago(2 children)

Material Usage is the typical way businesss usually do it.

0 points1 point2 points3 years ago(1 child)

Is there a sensor that can tell what volume of filament is used?

Ultimaker 2 – Mechanical Engineer0 points1 point2 points3 years ago(0 children)

The software will tell you what volume of material the model will use depending on your settings.

Makerbot Thing-o-Matic0 points1 point2 points3 years ago(0 children)

What can FedEx offer to differentiate itself from the established providers? Customization is, I think, not very compelling. The only target market for customized branded products is the average consumer, and reaching them will be very, very difficult. Plus, youll need abigsoftware development budget to make the customization software useful.

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Staples to Add Easy 3D Printing Service

Staples Printing Systems Division announced that itll be offering a 3D printing service using the Mcror Iris 3D printer fromMcor TechnologiesLtd. The new service will be called Staples Easy 3D, and will be provided online via the Staples Office Centre. The service will initially be available in the Netherlands and Belgium in the first-quarter of 2013, and will be rolled out quickly to other countries, according to Oscar Pakasi, director of business development for Staples Printing Systems, which is responsible for developing the concept and the design of the Staples Easy 3D print service platform

Staples Easy 3D printing service will enable consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students, etc. to produce photo-realistic 3D printed products from Staples stores. Customers will simply upload their electronic 3D file to the Staples Office Centre and pick up the models in their nearby Staples stores, or have them shipped to their address. Staples will produce the models with the Mcor Iris (shown above), a 3D printer that Staples says has the highest color capability in the industry and lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer.

While other 3D printers use melted plastic to create 3D full-models, the Iris printer uses paper: A4 standard office paper (80 gsm; 160 gsm ply colour only) and U.S. letter-size standard paper (20 lb.; 43 lb. ply color only). Using letter-size paper, it can build paper models up to 9.39 x 6.89 x 5.9 in size. It can create full-color or black-and-white models. Instead of melting plastic as many other 3D printers do, the Iris printer cuts paper and then stacks and glues the paper together, enabling a layer thickness of 100 microns, which is equivalent to that of the MakerBot 2 Replicator.

The Iris can produce 3D paper models such as the skull shown above.

Mcor Technologies was established in 2004, and operates internationally from offices in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and America.

Although 3D printing is evolving on a similar path to 2D printing with digital 2D printers once relegated to the office becoming inexpensive for home users Mcor contends theres no sign that every home will have a 3D printer right away. Until that time, consumers will look to service bureaus, said Mcor Technologies co-founder and CEO Dr. Conor MacCormack. Staples is uniquely positioned to become the pre-eminent service bureau to the world, and we will help them deliver highest quality and value. Staples Easy 3D is a breakthrough service in innovation and access for consumers and businesses alike.

Given our market leadership in commercial print, why would we ever stop at two dimensions? commented President Wouter Van Dijk, president of the Staples Printing Systems Division in Europe. Customized parts, prototypes, art objects, architectural models, medical models and 3D maps are items customers need today, in a more affordable and more accessible manner. Mcor will help us to keep prices low, quality high and color brilliant as we meet the demand.

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Staples Now Testing In-Store 3D Printing

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Staples Now Testing In-Store 3D Printing

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In an earlier, more simpler time when color printing was costly (and when people still printed things out), many consumers and small businesses used Staples and other office supply stores to fulfill their printing and copying needs. Can they do the same for 3D printing? Staples is willing to find out by dipping its toe into the 3D-printed waters with a pair of in-store tests.

The retailer announced today that it has partnered with 3D Systems to launch pilot printing services at one store on 5th Ave. in Manhattan and another on Wilshire Blvd. in L.A.s Studio City neighborhood.

The two stores will have photo booths that allow customers to scan in their facial info for use in 3D printing.

In addition to allowing customers to print 3D-ready files, the stores will feature an immersive 3D printing experience center where customers can try their hand at creating 3-dimensional items of their own. This includes a photo booth that can capture data to create 3D figurines of themselves.

Since its still a developing technology, there will be a 3D Systems employee working at both stores to walk people through the process, and we assume to unplug and plug back in the machines when they start acting up.

Staples recently got into the business of selling 3D printers to retail customers, so the store sees this pilot program as a good way to introduce consumers to the world of 3D printing, presumably in the hope that they will ultimately spend their money on it.

The test with 3D Systems will help us learn about our customers needs for a local 3D printing service, and how Staples can help them make more happen for their business through 3D printing, explains Damien Leigh, senior vice president of business services for Staples, Inc.

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