While affordable 3D home printers may still be a thing of the future, custom-printed models for everyday folk will soon be one step closer: at your local Staples.
If you live in the Netherlands or Belgium, that is. The ‘Staples Easy 3D’ service is expected to begin in the two countries in early 2013, the company announced last week, and will then be expanded to other markets. Customers can send their design files in through an online portal and pick the model up from a nearby store or have it delivered by mail.
‘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,’ said President Wouter Van Dijk, president of the Staples Printing Systems Division in Europe.
The expansion is the result of a partnership with Irish company Mcor Technologies, and will use the ‘Mcor Iris’, a 3D printer that creates models using blocks of printer paper, not plastic. (You can take a look at the service on this video.)
This should make the models cheaper than those with conventional 3D printers – but there’s no word yet on the price per print.
Images courtesy Mcor Technologies.