Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

Staples stores to offer custom 3D printing

By

December 3, 2012

The Mcor IRIS 3D paper printer, which will be used in the Staples Easy 3D service

The Mcor IRIS 3D paper printer, which will be used in the Staples Easy 3D service

You might want to hold off on buying that 3D printer. In the same way that photographers can upload their image files to a photo lab for printing, people will soon be able to upload their CAD/CAM files to the Staples Office Center, for 3D printing on a high-end printer – the only catch is, the finished objects will be made out of paper.

Staples’ Easy 3D service is the result of a partnership between the Staples chain of office supplies stores, and Mcor Technologies Ltd.

Using an online interface, users will be able to submit a file of the object that they wish to have printed – that file could even be as simple as a photograph of an existing physical copy of the object, depending on its shape. That information will then be uploaded to a Mcor IRIS 3D paper printer at a local Staples Office Center.

Utilizing 0.1-mm-thick layers of ordinary business-letter paper and colored ink, the IRIS will proceed to create a full-color three-dimensional physical model of the object. The user can then pick that model up at the store, or have it mailed to them. Needless to say, paper might not be the ideal material for everyone’s projects, but it should work well for people like architects, artists or designers.

Staples Easy 3D is set to launch in the Netherlands and Belgium in the first quarter of next year, with a roll-out in other countries planned to take place soon after.

A demo of the system (which repeats over and over) can be seen in the video below.

Source: Mcor Technologies via Engadget

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
Tags
7 Comments

Apparently the 3D models look like paper mache.

http://www.mcortechnologies.com/gallery/

The gallery is a series of stills, so not too much of a drain on your download budget.

Wombat56
3rd December, 2012 @ 02:41 pm PST

this horse doesn't look like the one in picture - instead looks just like the demo from website. a rather bad first impression.

yru
4th December, 2012 @ 02:43 am PST

No thanks. I think I'll keep using ABS.

Timothy Damien Rohde
4th December, 2012 @ 08:12 am PST

Mcor IRIS paper 3D printed models don't look at all like paper mache. They look like the real object. You can see photos of IRIS models on the Mcor Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcor3dprinting/sets/72157632154324692/. The IRIS prints the models in full color, which is something most other technologies can't do. Mcor's technology is also 1/5 of all other technologies, including ABS.

Julie Asarkof Reece
4th December, 2012 @ 12:09 pm PST

Be radical, present your rough sketches for CAD, then see in 3D, then take to Manufacturer alone.

A-Z products.

Stephen N Russell
4th December, 2012 @ 06:15 pm PST

They compare it to 3D printing. 3D printing is most often an additive process with, hopefully, little waste. This is old subtractive technology used on glued together paper sheets cut one sheet at a time. LOTS OF WASTE.

From the demo I see a 100+ full page stack of paper wasted for a marginal representation of the chess piece.

Just because this service and machine follow some of the processes of today's 3D printing this should not be accept or promoted in techy articles as 3D printing.

We can do the same process now to produce things. It would be with some machine shops. That is - take an electronic 3D file and transfer it to them and they produce it on a cnc machine from metal or other materials. Also, like Staples new service, leaving a pile of waste.

Not impressed - but, time marches on.

B. Stott
4th December, 2012 @ 10:06 pm PST

@B.Stott:

Metal machining "waste" is fully recyclable, and in most modern shops, scrupulously recycled. The paper waste from this process is also recyclable, and using paper is a much greener technology than using polymer resins.

Know your stuff before you rush in where angels fear to tread ;-)

@yru:

What else did you expect, based on a single crummy photo? GIGO. If you want a good replica, send in a 3D model---it's not that hard, there are apps out there that will construct an adequate model based on photos from several angles.

Freederick
5th December, 2012 @ 04:09 am PST
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 28,210 articles