Although affordable 3D printers for the home are on the visible horizon, it's likely going to be anywhere between 5-10 years before 3D object printers step over from niche specialty technology to consumer grade office-computing equipment. In the meantime it appears home office supplies giant, Staples, is looking to plant their feet first by offering 3D object printing sent from your home and available for pickup in-store....
Mcor and Staples have joined forces in the Netherlands and Belgium (no US availability date yet) to offer 3D printing equipment at specific print and copy centers in 2013 under the brand of Staples Easy 3D. As the video above illustrates, customers will be able to upload their scan/designs onto the Staples website and then have it magically spit out full formed at their local Staples location (well, at least theoretically, since 3D printing accuracy is unlikely initially to meet the everyman/woman's expectations, with modeling requiring patience and detail).
Press release details:
Full colour and low cost make 3D printing accessible to everyone
In a giant step toward the reality of 3D printing for all, Mcor Technologies Ltd has struck a deal with Staples Printing Systems Division to launch a new 3D printing service called "Staples Easy 3D," online via the Staples Office Centre.
Staples' Easy 3D will offer consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others low-cost, brilliantly coloured, photo-realistic 3D printed products from Staples stores. Customers will simply upload electronic files 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, a 3D printer with the highest colour capability in the industry and lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer.
Mcor announced Staples Easy 3D today at Euromold 2012 in Hall 11.0, Stand B109.
"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's 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."
The online platform for Staples Easy 3D will initially be made available in the Netherlands and Belgium in Q1 2013 and will be rolled out quickly to other countries, according to Oscar Pakasi, director business development of Staples Printing Systems, who is responsible for developing the concept and the design of the Staples Easy 3D print service platform.
About Mcor Technologies Ltd Mcor Technologies Ltd is an innovative manufacturer of the world's 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, Mcor's vision is to make 3D printing more accessible to everyone. The company operates internationally from offices in Ireland, the UK and America. http://www.mcortechnologies.com.